Preparing the Next Generation of Health Professionals with Tools to Enhance Health Fairness and Impartiality

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August 25, 2022
You Belong

African American Mental Health and Wellness (AMEN) team is collaborating with KAZI FM 88.7 in producing a radio series to highlight the importance of addressing mental health and physical wellness in the African American community. The monthly series will feature AMEN team members from the School of Nursing, leaders from Mt. Zion Baptist and Rehoboth Baptist churches, and community organizations who provide mental health resources and support in Travis County. 

Preparing the Next Generation of Health Professionals with Tools to Enhance Health Fairness and Impartiality

August 24, 2022 Podcast:

Audio file

Co-moderators Shannon W. Jones and Jacki Hecht interviewed Dr. Danica Sumpter – a Clinical Associate Professor at the UT Austin School of Nursing and Macy Faculty Scholar who is developing a Toolkit for Anti-Racist Teaching (T-ART). The T-ART aims to equip faculty with resources and education to promote best practices for teaching about the enduring nature of systemic racism as a significant “pre-existing condition” underlying numerous health inequities. Read Dr. Danica Sumpter's article on "Fostering a Welcoming and Engaging Climate Within the Classroom."

Dr. Sumpter was inspired to focus her efforts on raising awareness about racism and health inequities when her local radio station was discussing the significant impact of systemic racism on maternal health outcomes. Sumpter knew as an educator that if she didn’t speak up about this issue, she would become part of the problem. As a first step towards raising awareness, Dr. Sumpter created an anti-racist toolkit for educators of emerging health professionals. As part of this effort, she strives to create a brave space among health professionals where systemic issues can be addressed. Strategies in this toolkit include ways to implement voices of color within healthcare practices and co-creation of goals with patients and students.

Faculty and students have responded to the ideas in this toolkit in a positive manner and are eager to find creative ways to close the gaps for these health disparities. Dr. Sumpter will measure the outcomes and effectiveness of her toolkit by improving the comfort and confidence level of faculty to openly address racism as a contributing factor in health outcomes and by sparking conversations about racism. One of the most surprising discoveries Sumpter has made during this process is the idea that anti-racist teaching is not as much about "doing" as it is about "being", so what is truly needed are tools for transformation.

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