Dr. Bessie Young, professor (Nephrology) and associate chair for diversity and inclusion, is the 2021 recipient of Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award.

Dr. Bessie Young

This award is presented to an individual or team who promotes and champions diversity, equity, and inclusion in their department of medicine.

It was created to recognize academic internal medicine physicians, administrators, and physicians-in-training whose work substantially advances diversity, equity and inclusion through systems which ensure high quality care for all patients.

"I cannot think of a more deserving individual than Bessie," said Department Chair Dr. Barbara Jung. "She is a trail blazer, role model and never stops putting diversity and inclusion first." 

Here are some of her many accomplishments:

  • Established an endowed scholarship to give underrepresented minority students an opportunity to attend the University of Washington School of Medicine.
  • Developed the first African-American mentoring network for medical students.
  • Researches racial disparities in kidney diseases and health disparities in minority populations with Chronic Kidney Disease.
  • Supports our Visiting Scholars and Visiting Resident programs, both of which are designed to bring diverse residents and fellows to our institution.
  • Works with residents on efforts to bring more equity, diversity and inclusion practices into the residency curriculum. 

  • Hosts community and networking events for our underrepresented residents so that they may check in with their individual experiences and receive support when the climate is difficult.

  • Engaged the UW in the Bias Reduction in Internal Medicine program.
  • Co-chairs the Department of Medicine Diversity Committee
  • Initiated a department-wide academic climate survey of faculty and fellows; the results will help us focus our work to improve diversity and inclusion in the department.
  • Led a retreat to delineate priority efforts on how to achieve and sustain greater diversity and inform our strategic planning process in this area.
  • Established the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Center for Transformative Research to study and ultimately eliminate health disparities.

Read more about Dr. Young and her research in her faculty spotlight