Leslie Garcia Receives National Diversity Honor

Leslie_Garcia_thLeslie Garcia, M.P.A., Assistant Chief Diversity Officer at Oregon Health & Science University, was recognized by the National Association of Minority Medical Educators (NAMME) for her contributions to advancing diversity and inclusion. As the recipient of the 2014 NAMME Diversity Leadership Award, Leslie is recognized for her exemplary leadership in manifesting the ideals of diversity through innovative, dynamic, and practical actions.

All nominees for the NAMME Diversity Leadership Award are assessed on evidence provided in relation to the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated leadership in their organization by leading and supporting efforts to enhance the recruitment and retention of members of diverse groups, especially those individuals who are members of historically underrepresented, and those who are economically and/or educationally disadvantaged.  
  • Fostered the cause of diversity by promoting and engaging in informed dialogue as well as actions to promote diversity.
  • Influenced the institutional environment by encouraging cross-cultural understanding through curricular changes and other educational initiatives.
  • Contributed to the variety and richness of diversity by endorsing and supporting programming, special initiatives, and cultural events.

NAMME was established in 1975 by a group of educators concerned about the shortage of minority health care providers. The NAMME mission is to develop and sustain productive relationships as well as action-oriented programs among national, state, and community stakeholders working to ensure racial and ethnic diversity in all of the health professions.

Leslie is the Director of the OHSU Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI), leading university-wide initiatives to create an environment of respect and inclusion for all people. Through Leslie's leadership and ongoing efforts  the Center for Diversity & Inclusion has grown and expanded to serve faculty, students and staff through a variety of programs, including diversity resources, cultural competency lectures, community outreach, employee resource groups, student pipeline programs, and committees that address diversity, inclusion and equity issues across OHSU.

As Co-Chair of OHSU's Diversity Advisory Council (DAC), Leslie advises the OHSU executive leadership team in matters related to advancing and furthering diversity, inclusion and equity across campus. Leslie has experience working in both public and private sectors providing leadership and consultation related to diversity, cultural competency, as well as curriculum and program development. 

OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A., created the council to help fulfill one of the top goals of OHSU's Vision 2020 Strategic Plan: "Be a great organization, diverse in people and ideas." As a campus-wide group, the DAC supports diversity initiatives across the university -- everything from helping units understand the business case for diversity to providing practical resources and strategic planning.  The DAC represents all of the university's mission areas and represents students, residents, fellows, faculty, staff and other OHSU stakeholders.

Posted by Maileen Hamto on October 15, 2014