KCU receives 2023 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

By Haley Reardon Oct 12, 2023
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HEED Award

Kansas City University (KCU) is among 63 prestigious higher education institutions to receive the 2023 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

Diversity is firmly embedded into KCU’s strategic plan, which establishes diligent measures to recruit a diverse student body as well as initiatives focused on improving retention and graduation rates for historically underrepresented and first-generation students. KCU recently established multicultural centers on each campus to enhance a sense of belonging on campus for all students. While the center is open to all students, its primary purpose is to serve as a hub for cross-cultural communication and exchange aimed at breaking down cultural barriers and promoting understanding and respect among all members of our campus community.

KCU’s curriculum incorporates comprehensive diversity topics with courses focused on social determinates of health as well as large- and small-group learning activities addressing health equity, racism and its impact on health, and living with HIV/AIDS. To achieve a vibrant learning and working environment that embraces diversity, KCU developed campus-wide initiatives including implicit bias training for all members of the University community to become adept at working in a diverse and inclusive environment.

"Receiving the Health Professions HEED Award is a testament to our unwavering dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment at Kansas City University,” said Kenneth Durgans, EdD, KCU associate provost of diversity and inclusion. “This acknowledgment motivates us to continue striving for excellence in promoting diversity across all facets of our institution."

As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award, a national honor recognizing health colleges and universities in the United States that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, KCU will be featured in the November/December 2023 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

For more information about the 2023 INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions HEED Award, click here. 

About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the leader in advancing best practices in DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in higher education. Through thought-provoking print and online articles, we share expert advice, valuable resources, in-depth profiles of top DEI programs at colleges and universities, headline news, and much more to help keep our readers informed and empower them to advance DEI initiatives at their institutions. To further our mission, we created the INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award in 2012. The HEED Award — including the more targeted INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions, Law School, and Community College HEED Awards — is the only national honor to recognize institutions of higher education for their outstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at insightintodiversity.com

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