As the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) reaffirms the importance of diversity and inclusion, Jeffrey S. Akman, MD, vice president for Health Affairs, Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine, and SMHS dean, is working to align the school’s strategies with GW President Thomas J. LeBlanc’s vision for the university.
“In this process," Akman said, “the roles of several leaders have expanded to guide our school as we aspire to preeminence.”
Beginning Dec. 1, Yolanda Haywood, MD, RESD ’87 received a new title to reflect the expansion of her roles and the emphasis the school and the university place on her functions. Four years ago, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion was established by Akman to foster a community distinguished by the depth of its diversity and the value placed on it. Yolanda Haywood, MD, RESD ’87 was tapped to serve as the associate dean for diversity, inclusion, and student affairs. The office has supported efforts to attract and retain talented diverse students, faculty and staff. Recently, SMHS scored above the 90th percentile among peer institutions for recruitment and retention of a high number of black or African American students and female faculty members, according to the Mission Dashboard tracked by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
“Diversity and inclusion inspire excellence. The promotion of Yolanda demonstrates the importance of this work and the efforts that will continue to expand,” said Akman. As a result, Haywood has been tapped to join the SMHS senior leadership team and serves as the Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. Additionally, she will maintain her role as the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.