KL2 Scholar Aislinn Williams Named Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Department of Psychiatry

By Francie Williamson, Communications Coordinator

The Department of Psychiatry at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has appointed Assistant Professor Aislinn Williams, MD, PhD, as vice chair of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Peggy Nopoulos, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry, says given the recent national spotlight on issues regarding race and inclusivity, the department’s leaders thought it was an appropriate time to review how the department was doing to ensure it was diverse, equitable and inclusive.

“Importantly, we really wanted to give this ‘traction’ rather than lip-service (so to speak) and felt that dedication of a high-level administrative position where there is protected time to address these issues was long overdue,” Nopoulos says. “There are few other positions in the College of Medicine like this and we are proud that we are one of the few departments making the creation of a position like this a priority.”

Nopoulos says that although the department’s residency class is diverse, the faculty could use more diversity.

“I hope that over time we can hire with an eye toward being as diverse as possible,” Nopoulos says. “I think it is also important to continue to address the issues of making sure our environment, both for patients and for employees, is as equitable and welcoming as possible to everyone.

Nopoulos says Williams’ application to be vice chair was “outstanding in not only the work she has been involved in previously, but she also outlined several items that she identified as projects and expectations to move on now, and in the future.”


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Monday, August 24, 2020