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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Health Professions Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The School of Health Professions’ mission is to improve the health and well-being of others. We care deeply about the effects of the social and cultural climate on every person’s ability to live, work, study, innovate, serve and thrive on this campus. We welcome and strive to foster an inclusive and diverse community of people, cultures and abilities.

We also acknowledge our responsibility to dismantle systemic inequities within our professions, which have contributed to long-standing health disparities and the lack of diversity among health care providers. It is our duty to respect and uphold the individual dignity of each student, faculty and staff member in our school, and each person receiving our care and attention, without exception. It is our duty to challenge ourselves to root out systems of bias.

Health Professions students leave our school and become health care providers for a diverse population. They will take an oath to care for others in need without bias. All students, faculty, and staff in the School of Health Professions deserve and are called to contribute to an educational experience and a workplace that holds the same promise.

We are committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the following ways:

  1. Continuing to research and educate students and our community about health disparities and strategies to address inequities in health care.
  2. Expanding mentoring and student support programs to increase sense of belonging and community for Black and other underrepresented students.
  3. Improving recruitment and admissions practices and policies to reduce barriers for students from marginalized backgrounds.
  4. Recruiting faculty and staff from underrepresented backgrounds and creating a climate for inclusion and belonging among our colleagues. This includes facilitating ongoing faculty and staff training and education, and implementing inclusive teaching practices and principles.

Nondiscrimination policy

Health Professions Inclusive Excellence Highlights

Faculty Recruitment and Retention

  • Policy change. Department of Health Sciences implemented policy to devote at least 50% of recruiting resources/efforts to outreach focused on diverse communities (effective AY2016)
  • Preparing Future Faculty Program. SHP departments have mentored 3 post-doctoral fellows, and have hired and retained 2 faculty through this program

Student Retention and Support

  • Fall Welcome Activities for Students. Implemented Fall Welcome activities focused on welcoming underserved/underrepresented students to SHP (effective AY2018)
  • Black Alumni and Student Engagement. Implemented annual Conversations with Black Professionals in Health Care panel to introduce students to alumni working in health care settings (effective AY2018)
  • TRiO Program Collaboration. Working with TRiO program, supporting a TRiO advisor who is specifically assigned to SHP students (effective AY2019)
  • MU Connect Analytics. Utilizing MU Connect Analytics data to develop strategies to address barriers to student success (effective AY2019)

Student Access / Pipelines to the Academy

  • High School Recruitment.
    • Increased recruitment visits to Missouri high schools with high percentage of underserved/underrepresented students (effective AY2017)
    • Summer Recruitment Programs. Participating with MU School of Medicine on summer programs for high school students from underserved backgrounds (e.g., Cristo Rey schools [2016, 2017], Health Professions Summit [AY2018]) (effective AY2017)
  • Holistic Admissions (HA) Foundational Work.
    • National Expert on HA offered presentation to faculty (AY2017)
    • Faculty, staff and student-led committee worked with programs on reviewing admissions missions, visions and processes (AY2018)
  • Holistic Admissions Action Steps.
    • Diversity Initiatives Coordinator hired to lead HA efforts across SHP programs (AY2020)
    • Modifications made in graduate/professional programs’ admissions processes, including elimination or reduced emphasis on the GRE.
  • Grad/Professional Program Recruiting.
    • Increased recruitment of underrepresented students (e.g. working with TigerView Program) (effective AY2020)
    • Multiple programs (Departments of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; Physical Therapy; Occupational Therapy) developing recruiting relationships with colleges with a higher percentage of underrepresented students (effective AY2019)
    • The Department of Physical Therapy implemented a Pre-Physical Therapy Scholars Pipeline Program in Fall 2020.
    • The Department of Public Health launched a Pre-PT Scholars Program in Summer 2021.

Training and Professional Development

  • IDE Learning Opportunities. Have offered 3+ learning sessions for all faculty and staff each semester (effective AY2016)
  • Focused Workshops.
    • Building Inclusive Clinics and Classrooms Workshops (from NCCJ) one-day introductory workshop in inclusion, offered 2x (AY2016)
    • Department of Health Sciences workshop for faculty to redesign syllabi (AY2016)
    • Health Professions senior leadership (department chairs and administrative staff) participated in workshop presented by staff member from Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative (AY2016)
  • Canvas Website. Diversity across the Curriculum canvas site was created by students collaborating with faculty to provide resources to faculty for use in their courses. This is a living site, with continual updates (effective AY2018)

Culture and Climate

  • Coursework Modifications. To promote learning and positive culture, courses have been added or modified in several programs.
    • Department of Health Sciences created a new course, Bias, Prejudice & Discrimination in Health Care, that has been offered continuously since AY2016 and also offered another new course, Social Justice in Health (AY2017).
    • Department of Public Health collaborated with Women and Gender Studies (WGST) to create a course on Race, Gender & Health.
    • Department of Public Health added a certificate on Environment & Health and is developing a certificate on Gender & Health with WGST, both of which deal with the importance of race/gender/class at the core of their curricula.
    • All departments have integrated, or are working on integrating, inclusion, diversity and equity into their curricula.
  • Faculty Development.
    • SHP funded a faculty member’s participation in National Conference for Community and Justice – St. Louis (NCCJ-STL) facilitrainor training, so this faculty member could be a resource to all of SHP and MU community (AY2016)
    • Multiple workshops offered to promote faculty, staff and student interactions on topics of inclusion, diversity and equity (effective AY2016)
  • Traveling Diversity/Inclusion Library. Gathered written and video resources into a library that has moved between departments to support ongoing learning and self-reflection (effective AY2018)
  • Health Professions Inclusive Excellence Award. Created and awarded annually, to highlight excellent IE work by faculty and staff (effective AY2018)
  • Faculty Fellow for IDE. Funded 20% FTE of Faculty Fellow for IDE, with focus on education and improving climate (effective AY2019)
  • Community Engagement. Representing SHP and MU in community events (e.g., Inclusive Impact Institute Gala, Shelter Insurance Diversity & Inclusion event) (effective AY2019)


Programming and Resources

Traveling Diversity Library

The library is currently in transition. If you need to checkout a book or return a book email Kristin Flynn Peters at

The Traveling Diversity Library is open to all faculty and staff to engage in various topics including age, cultural competency, disability, ethnicity, family role and structure, gender, health, nationality, politics, race, regionality, religion, and socio-economic status.

Diversity and Inclusion Across SHP Curriculum and Courses

The School of Health Professions has a Canvas site, Diversity and Inclusion Across SHP Curriculum and Courses, with many resources for faculty and staff. The site was created by the Diversity & Inclusion curriculum subcommittee. To request access, email Evan Prost at

Department of Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The Department of Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Committee is dedicated to encouraging conversations, listening and identifying needs, providing educational opportunities, and making connections across campus initiatives and events. Learn more.

Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

The MU Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (IDE) offers several educational resources and programs for the university community and general public. Learn more at

Other Mizzou Resources

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