DEI Team Paves the Way for a More Inclusive Workforce; Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Unveils Interactive Display Wall

Lauren Hooker
February 20, 2023
DEI Ribbon Cutting

 An integral part of the MUSC Department of Surgery’s vision is to have a diverse workforce with systems and procedures that allow all employees to be included and have their voices heard. To achieve this goal, Dr. Sharee Wright, Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Department of Surgery, has an overarching vision to unify the whole department, so all faculty, staff, and trainees feel included.

“Building a more diverse and inclusive environment makes us all much better versions of ourselves, which then has a ripple effect – creating amazing teams that respect and support each individual, and ultimately creating a culture where we are better able to understand and care for our diverse patient population,” explains Dr. Wright.

Dr. Wright and her team, including fiscal analyst Keller Lee, office manager Michelle Hill, and an advisory committee comprised of multiple members from various divisions, paved a path forward to widen our lens and help us be more intentional in our day-to-day interactions.

Dr. Wright secured an OneMUSC FY23 Strategy Grant for $25,000 to develop a multi-faceted DEI curriculum within the department. Part of the curriculum involved creating interactive digital displays placed in strategic locations for our internal teams.

On Friday, February 10, after months of planning, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the launch of the MUSC Department of Surgery Diversity and Inclusion Wall in the CSB 4th-floor elevator lobby. This display is the first of several installations across campus.

“We are creating a space that is inclusive and welcoming to everybody,” says Dr. Wright. “This wall represents our recognition that our department is inclusive of people with different beliefs, lives, and backgrounds and that we are all intertwined to make us the amazing department that we are – ultimately serving each other, our patients, and our community.”

She adds that the wall represents what Chair Dr. Prabhakar Baliga has set as the vision for the department. “This wall represents that we are working towards a more diverse and inclusive space for all of our team members not only in the department but enterprise-wide and within our communities,” she says.

Both displays have an interactive quality to them. The digital screen has QR codes for more information on our Department of Surgery website; the more interactive vertical display is a touchscreen that allows videos to open on the screen and interactive QR codes.

Once the ribbon was cut, Keller Lee and Michell Hill gave the group a demonstration on the touchscreen, noting that the content builds on what the team has worked on over the past 18 months. Some unique features include a word cloud where you can submit what diversity and inclusion mean to you and an interactive world map where you can put a pin to mark your origins. Keller Lee says the information gathered will help create a complete picture of our Department of Surgery community, highlighting our diverse yet connected selves.

Other features include vignettes of voices within our community, information about small group discussions and talks, monthly heritage month slides highlighting heritage icons and heritage arts, and a spotlight on our history-making faculty, students, researchers, staff, and alumni. According to Michelle Hill, since the interactive information will change, the committee will ask for ideas and feedback to ensure all members of our community’s voices are heard.   

Dr. Wright thanks Dr. Baliga for his vision and support and Dr. Willette S. Burnham-Williams, Chief Equity Officer, who sponsored her OneMUSC funding request. She also thanks those in attendance for their support and interest in engaging with the committee and welcomes all in the department to stop over to view and interact with the displays.