Health Equity

Unity, Community, and Diversity

As members of a learning institution, the people of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals bear the responsibility to ameliorate factors that negatively affect the health of our patients and communities: poverty, education, access to transportation, healthy food, and health care. The Department of Dermatology’s commitment to equity is embedded in our values of integrity, collaboration, accountability, and respect and are aligned with the mission, vision and values of UW Health and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. The Department of Dermatology is dedicated to standing against all forms of discrimination, including on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, sex, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, or any other legally protected status.

As healers, educators, and researchers, we will do our part to reduce disparities in opportunity, access, and outcomes for historically marginalized groups. Race is a social construct largely defined by skin color, and dermatologists and skin biologists understand that the biology of skin pigmentation is only skin deep. We strive to be part of the long overdue and necessary changes to the medical profession and to the communities we serve. As we endeavor to transform our field into one that is worthy of the trust of our communities and all who work in healthcare, we support a culture of:

    • Humility, respect, and genuineness that values listening and serving above pushing our own agendas
    • Continuous effort to create an increasingly diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment
    • Educating ourselves and others and engaging with dialogues around individual and institutional implicit bias
    • Ongoing critique of our policies, evaluation procedures, and educational offerings through a lens of equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice
    • Demonstrating accountability, both in the moment and with transparency of past abuses
    • Challenging the status quo
    • Advancement of critical consciousness, including sociopolitical awareness, cognizance of power dynamics, and historical knowledge
    • Taking action to eliminate inequities in patient care, research, and education

Health Equity Initiatives

Recent Department of Dermatology initiatives as part of our Health Equity Program include:

    • Intentional inclusion of clinical and research speakers from diverse backgrounds, especially those underrepresented in dermatology, such as Black and Latino speakers
    • Departmental Town Halls discussion topics on race, racism, and underrepresented populations
    • Intentional inclusion of skin of color in medical student and resident curriculum
    • Lecture for medical students on health equity in dermatology and Skin of Color (SOC), given by invited Emory Assistant Professor Dr. Loren Krueger as part of a Student National Medical Association (SNMA) lunch series
    • Resident and department lectures on “Race and Racism in Medicine”
    • Departmental workshop on “Implicit Bias” led by Naomi Takahashi, Director of DEI for UW Health.
    • “How to Be an Antiracist” book clubs for residents, faculty, APPs and staff
    • Resident QI project on Skin of Color (SOC) in department educational materials
    • Funded diversity summer clinical rotation for one to three medical students between 1st and 2nd year

UW Health was recognized as a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” in 2022’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). The survey was created by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, which works to improve the lives of LGBTQ people by encouraging the adoption of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.

Primary Contacts

Daniel Bennett, MD
Dermatology Faculty Champion for Health Equity
Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Dermatology

Beth Drolet, MD
Professor and Chair of Dermatology

Mary Gannon
Administrative Champion for Health Equity

To Heal
To Educate
To Discover

Our Mission