The School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) announced that Yolanda Haywood will spearhead its diversity and inclusion efforts.
As associate dean for diversity, inclusion and student affairs, Yolanda Haywood will oversee the development, coordination, implementation and assessment of academic and research programs to promote diversity within SMHS. She was appointed by SMHS Dean and Vice President for Health Affairs Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D. ’81.
Dr. Haywood has been a longtime leader at GW, holding positions such as associate dean for student and curricular affairs and associate professor of emergency medicine at SMHS. She holds a B.S. in zoology and an M.D. from Howard University. She also graduated from the physician assistant program and was a resident at SMHS.
Dr. Akman formed a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in 2012 to develop a strategic plan and action items for the school to address health equity and position SMHS as a national leader in promoting diversity among U.S. academic health centers. The task force recommended establishing an associate dean position to lead strategic initiatives, accreditation compliance efforts and the advancement of enhanced scholarship. The associate dean will also identify diversity opportunities in faculty development, academics and research.
Under Dr. Haywood’s leadership, SMHS will establish a new Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the near term.
“Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for me, as well as for the school. While SMHS has a long history of diversity, Yolanda will provide leadership and a solidified structure within our academic and research programs to ensure our community is diverse as we move forward,” said Dr. Akman. “We are particularly pleased to support and enhance the efforts led by Terri Harris Reed, GW’s vice provost for diversity and inclusion.”
Dr. Haywood will work with other SMHS deans, faculty and staff to develop, implement and assess strategies intended to enhance diversity at all levels of the school. She will have a major role in forming the new SMHS curriculum and will participate in creating a new strategic plan.
With the Office of Faculty Affairs, Dr. Haywood will help strengthen faculty search procedures and ensure that members of minority and female groups are well represented in search committees. She will also develop metrics to assess goals in recruiting a more diverse faculty.
In addition, Dr. Haywood will work with the Office of Admissions to help SMHS recruit underrepresented minority students and develop pipeline programs. She will coordinate with the Office of Media Relations and the Division of Development and Alumni Relations to enhance external support for diversity and equity programs, with particular emphasis on undergraduate and graduate scholarships and fellowships. Through these channels, Dr. Haywood will build and maintain communications with local and national organizations that support shared learning programs of diversity and equity.
“This is an exciting role for me, and I look forward to working with my colleagues across the school to continue to broaden our reach, enhance diversity and to further our mission of improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities,” said Dr. Haywood.