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Ultimate Medical Academy Equips Faculty and Staff to Embrace Diversity and Prevent Bias

Sharon Washington at UMA

TAMPA, Fla.Nov. 7, 2018 — In light of the horrific shooting recently that killed 11 worshipers during services at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and as part of the Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Council’s commitment to bring outside perspectives to UMA, the nonprofit healthcare educational institution this week is sponsoring a series of one-hour discussions for faculty and staff.

“Ultimate Medical Academy embraces diversity and inclusion,” UMA President Derek Apanovitch said. “Our students in Tampa Bay and across the country are counting on us to equip and empower them to excel in healthcare careers. We can only do that by recognizing and embracing the unique backgrounds and aspirations of our staff, our students, and those we ultimately serve in healthcare.”

The sessions will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8 at UMA’s Online Campus in Tampa and from 4 to 5 p.m. at UMA’s Clearwater Campus, and on Friday, Nov. 9 from 1 to 2 p.m. at UMA’s Online Operations facility in Tampa.

The UMA discussions on unconscious bias and micro-aggressions will be led by Sharon Washington, Ed.D., MPH, Assistant Professor of Instruction for the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Temple University. Washington is a Gates Millennium Scholar and Immediate Past President of the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association, a network of more than 20,000 diverse millennial scholars and professionals.

“It is truly an honor to help initiate an ongoing discussion and institutional reflection on issues of bias, inclusion, belonging, and healing the historical trauma of marginalization and oppression that manifests in current day healthcare and patient outcomes,” Sharon Washington said. “I feel confident that participants in these sessions will gain insight through self-reflection, increased team and institutional dialogue and analysis, and collective envisioning of a more inclusive and mindful approach to educating the future healthcare professionals needed by our diverse patient population.”

Washington’s expertise includes navigating racial dynamics in the workplace; social and environmental justice; historical and political origins of race as a social construct; multi-racial and cross-cultural conflict resolution and negotiation; health disparities; self-care and wellness in the workplace; sexual and gender identities; racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of social oppression; youth development; and program planning for sustainable community development.