Diversity & Inclusion
The Department of Neurology is diligent in fostering excellence in teaching, research and clinical service. We recognize excellence is reached through the vibrant exchange of ideas, which thrives when people from a multitude of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and viewpoints collaborate. We uphold an environment of inclusivity, equal opportunity and accessibility. We are committed to creating and maintaining an atmosphere where similarities and differences are celebrated, mutual respect is cultivated and intellectual growth is fueled.
DEI IN THE DEPARTMENT
DEI COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP
Dr. Miguel Fiol, Neurology DEI Committee Chair, is a Puerto Rican transplanted to Minnesota in 1974, and has worked in the area of DEI since his residency years in the Neurology Program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he founded a community clinic for underrepresented minorities on the eastside of town.
Since moving his Puerto Rican family to Minnesota, he has been involved in the foundation of multiple community organizations relating to cultural and medical issues of the expanding Latino communities and has published and worked in health disparities of underrepresented minorities, especially the growing Latinx communities.
More about Dr. Fiol
Dr. Fiol works with several community organizations to bring Latinx communities and academia together: Puerto Ricans Minnesota Committee, Coalicion of Boricuas, and Frente Accion Latinx Minnesota (FALM). Since 2017, these organizations have brought together university, community, medical, and legal leaders to offer medical legal assistance to Latinx communities of Minnesota. Efforts include outstate and Twin Cities community clinics. FALM participated in a large number of community medical-legal clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic and gave over 600 vaccines to Latino groups, including undocumented immigrants.
Dr. Fiol has also led international work to support earthquake- and hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico and Honduras, border missions to Mexico, and efforts in Tumaco, Colombia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2018, after Hurricane Maria, Dr. Fiol and the UMN Puerto Rico Medical Outreach Team received an award in Health and Medicine from El Fondo Boricua, a St. Paul & Minnesota foundation. Additionally, this work was recognized by the Minnesota Medical Association in their magazine Minnesota Medicine.
At the University of Minnesota & M Health Fairview
Dr. Fiol’s research interests include healthy disparities in epilepsy. He has been granted research funds from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and has published and presented at national meetings on Community beliefs, challenges and quality of epilepsy care.
In collaboration with the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, he created the Latino American and Native American (LANA) Neurology Clinic which has been providing multicultural clinical services to both communities since 2012.
As the Diversity Officer of Neurology since 2015, Dr. Fiol has been a member of Dean Tolar’s original committees and the Faculty Advisory Committee that studied equity in faculty representation, ranking, and retention.
Currently involved as a member of the Medical School’s DEI Governance Committee, he keeps abreast of larger university issues impacting and challenging the UMN Medical School and Department of Neurology.
Dr. Bentho is the Neurology DEI Committee Assistant Chair.
He is a board-certified neurocritical care specialist. He treats patients with primarily neurological or neurosurgical conditions that require acute care in the intensive care unit. He is also the Neurocritical Care Fellowship Program Director.
Dr. Bentho is an integral part of the Togolese Diaspora medical community where he participates in quarterly meetings with other Togolese physicians to inform the Togolese community about health-related preventative topics.