OHSU Institute on Development and Disability UCEDD Faculty Elevate Diversity Efforts Big and Small

December 16, 2019

Former OHSU LEND trainees, Hannah Sanford-Keller and Bethany Sloane are now faculty at the Institute on Development and Disability (IDD) and UCEDD at Oregon Health & Science University. They work to bridge diversity efforts across OHSU centers and programs with the broader University and the AUCD network. Their roles include serving as co-leads of the IDD Diversity Committee. This work began during a yearlong experience as LEND trainees. As part of the core LEND curriculum they learned about family-centered care and advocacy. They were encouraged to consider the family experience as part of their clinical work. The experiences in their LEND training helped them identify disparities that existed for patients from diverse backgrounds in accessing developmental evaluations and services.

Sloane, Sanford-Keller, and trainees from their cohort were inspired to begin a Diversity Committee at the IDD with support from LEND faculty as part of their LEND leadership project. The primary goal of the committee is to increase cultural and linguistic competency of the organization. This is accomplished by providing training to faculty and staff, increasing recruitment and retention of diverse students, faculty, and staff, and gathering information from diverse patient populations about their experiences in clinic. These activities inform quality improvement activities, hiring practices, and increase access to care.

The committee has now become a permanent fixture within the Institute and across the larger Department of Pediatrics. The committee has engaged in listening sessions with community partners working with Latina women, hosted AUCD network leaders in sharing their work with the larger university as part of a Visiting Scholar series, and partnered with the larger OHSU community to share university resources with faculty and staff. The IDD diversity committee has also been a space for LEND and other trainees to connect during their training years to participate in leadership and research projects.

Some strategies we use to support implementation of diversity initiatives include:


  • Identifying key community stakeholders to seek out information about the patient experience and opportunities for improved collaboration
  • Utilizing the AUCD Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit for resources to improve recruitment and retention practices
  • Engaging with the AUCD Multicultural Council to identify expertise to our support work, as well as to share ideas
  • Identifying communication opportunities to highlight initiatives related to diversity and inclusion, such as upcoming holidays or tips for using inclusive language such as preferred gender pronouns


Diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competency are core components of a successful UCEDD program. To learn more about our efforts and how to increase your Center's diversity activities, review OHSU Diversity Committee conference posters here, or contact [email protected]