The Department of Medicine would like to highlight Minnesotan Suni Lee, the first Hmong-American athlete to compete and win GOLD at the Olympic Games.
The University of Minnesota Medical School, Department of Medicine, is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion as an essential strategy to support all members of our academic community: faculty, trainees, staff, and the patients and communities we serve. We strive for a culture of inclusive excellence in which our commitment to the core values of equity and diversity are reflected in all of our clinical care, research, education, and service activities.
Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Shahnaz Sultan, MD, MHSc is the Department's inaugural Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Sultan is an accomplished clinician, researcher, and educator in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (GI) and currently serves as the Program Director of the GI Fellowship Program. She brings to this role a breadth of leadership experience, accomplishment in health disparities research, an established record of increasing learner diversity, and a passion and vision for DEI work. Dr. Sultan will develop and oversee DEI efforts across the Department's education, clinical, research, and service missions for faculty, staff, and learners. Her initial priorities are focused on assessing the Department's ongoing DEI activities and creating strategies, policies, and best practices that will enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in all mission areas.
Shahnaz Sultan, MD, MHSc, AGAF
Dr. Hassan joined the University of Minnesota in 2004. He is a Professor of Medicine in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, with an interest in the fields of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This interest stems from his experience as a refugee from Africa. Dr. Hassan trained in Europe and is now a US citizen. He serves as the Director of Diversity for the Department of Medicine.
Mohamed Hassan, MD
Dr. Cuong Pham is a refugee from Viet Nam. He and his parents fled Viet Nam by boat. Through that journey, he ended up in Minnesota and has never left. The University of Minnesota has been an integral part of his training from beginning to end, including undergraduate, medical school, and Med/Peds residency. Now as faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine, he chairs the Graduate Medical Education Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee, facilitates talks on diversity and racism throughout the medical school, and integrates equity into his daily clinical practice. His clinical work at the Community-University Health Care Center focuses on the health of marginalized populations, particularly the indigenous and immigrant populations. Finally, his research in addiction care is rooted in collaborative work with the local community.
Cuong Pham, MD
When we heard that Somali and East African community members in the Twin Cities had questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, we asked local Imam Sharif Mohamed for help sharing information.
“I want the community to feel confident and to turn to the experts and scientists,” said Mohamed. “You are saving yourself and your community when you vaccinate yourself.”
Health Equity Spotlight
Jose Debes, MD
Jose Debes, MD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine. He also has an adjunct appointment in the School of Public Health at UMN, and in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. During his clinical training (both in Medicine and Gastroenterology at UMN) he became interested in the intersection of translational research and global health, specifically in the impact of local factors in different regions of the world on viral hepatitis-related liver cancer. Currently, Dr. Debes leads research projects in the field of hepatology in a number of countries including the Netherlands, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Argentina, Ecuador, and Brazil.
In South America, he founded and leads the South American Liver Research Network, a research system that includes six South American countries and that has been instrumental in defining the epidemiology of liver cancer in the region, as well as in identifying biomarkers for the early detection of this tumor. He founded and leads the African Hepatitis B Network, a system that includes a dozen countries in the continent, stimulating research and promoting awareness about the prevention of viral hepatitis.
The networks provide a platform for academic and research development in resource-limited countries. Most of the work is funded by the NIH, the European Union, and several private foundations. In Africa, the Hepatitis B Network gives a voice to a large number of healthcare workers to reflect and learn about issues pertaining to hepatitis B awareness and vaccination. Dr. Debes has also established hepatitis B programs in Ethiopia and Tanzania. These programs aim to educate individuals living with hepatitis B so to maximize the prevention of complications, provide access to screening for liver cancer, and implement early treatment when appropriate. These programs also allow for the mentoring and training of local junior faculty who otherwise would not be able to develop a research career and foster collaborations between the University of Minnesota and health centers across the globe.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Rosebud Indian Reservation Partnership
Rosebud Indian Reservation Partnership
The Division of General Internal Medicine has had the honor of developing an early partnership with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Indian Health Service in Rosebud, SD, to add support to the effort of improving health equity and health care delivery on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Through this partnership, GIM and the University of Minnesota Physicians currently support five clinicians providing general medicine and pediatric care in Rosebud, work with community and IHS agency partners to develop health equity-focused curricula for medicine and pediatrics residents, and aid the tribe if requested related to health program promotion. Our active members include Drs. Adriana Dhawan, Anteneh Zewde, Mike Sundberg, and the chief residents from our global medicine and pediatric residency program.
- Resources for Alumni to Support Their Communities: Information recommended by the University of MN Alumni Association, Black Alumni Network, and Multicultural Alumni Network that focuses on the University’s response to the death of George Floyd, supporting communities impacted by this tragedy, anti-racism tools, and learning about Black History at the University.
- UMN Office of Equity and Diversity: Offers resources to support the recruitment and retention of diverse students, staff, and faculty; creates programs and initiatives that contribute to a welcoming campus environment; and works with University and community partners to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across the University system.
- UMN Affinity Groups: Provide opportunities for diverse faculty, staff, and students to build community and make the University of Minnesota a more welcoming and inclusive place to work and learn. Faculty and staff can connect with a group to join their mailing lists, learn about upcoming events, programs, and meetings, and get involved.
- Medical School Diversity and Inclusion: Learn about the Medical School’s commitment to fostering a work and learning environment where institutional diversity fuels the advancement of knowledge, promotes improved patient care, and fosters excellence.
- Bias Response Referral Network (BRRN): Responds to reports of bias incidents on the Twin Cities campus to support the University’s commitment to equity and diversity, free speech, and academic freedom.