Celebration of Diversity Week

Celebration of Diversity Week heading

Diversity and inclusion are core values at the UF College of Medicine. The Celebration of Diversity Week was designed to honor those values and explore opportunities to work within our community to promote cross-cultural understanding and address health care disparities.


Harrell Medical Education BuildingMonday, April 2

Faces of UF Med Diversity Week Photo Project
8 – 10 a.m. | UF Health Shands Hospital Atrium

To showcase the rich diversity that makes us UF Health, we’re asking our faculty, staff and students to pose for individual portraits on April 2 from 8-10 a.m. in the UF Health Shands Hospital Atrium. Doughnuts will be available for participants.

Photos will be taken by emergency medicine physician and former photojournalist Giuliano De Portu M.D., assistant dean for diversity and health equity at the UF College of Medicine.

Follow @UFMedicine and the hashtag #FacesofUFMed or #UFMedDiversity on Instagram to view portraits of the many others who make us an institution that values inclusion and diversity. View the Facebook event.

Dean’s Grand Rounds Panel Discussion
Today’s Challenge: Building and Sustaining a Culture of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity
Noon 1:30 p.m. | Harrell Medical Education Building North Learning Studio

Please RSVP to RSVP@hsc.ufl.edu or 352-294-8452 and indicate your reservation is for the Dean’s Grand Rounds.

Watch a live stream of the panel.

  • Sarah Vinson, M.D., is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Morehouse School of Medicine. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Emory University School of Medicine. In addition to her academic roles, she is a mental health integrated care consultant at HEALing Community Center and a Carter Center consultant. Vinson is a 2007 graduate of the UF College of Medicine Medical Honors Program. While at UF, Vinson received a Distinguished Service Award and served as president of the Student National Medical Association. She received the Morehouse School of Medicine Psychiatry Faculty of the Year award in 2015, is the president of the Georgia Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and is a past recipient of the American Psychiatric Association Diversity Fellowship at Emory University. Her work involves outreach efforts to de-stigmatize mental illness among minority communities, including creating the online resource Ourselvesblack.com.
  • Mavis Agbandje-McKenna, Ph.D., joined UF College of Medicine faculty in 1999 as a professor. She serves as the director of the UF Center for Structural Biology, where she uses structural biology tools, biochemistry and molecular biology to study various members of the ssDNA virus families. Her research goal is use macromolecular structures to understand disease states and provide platforms to engineer treatments and cures. McKenna received a Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of London and has conducted research at Purdue University and the University of Warwick in Coventry, England.
  • Mustafa Ahmed, M.D., is an assistant professor in the UF division of cardiovascular medicine and the medical director of the UF Health mechanical circulatory support program. He specializes in advanced heart failure, ventricular assist devices and transplantation. Ahmed received his medical degree from the West Virginia University School of Medicine, completed an internship and residency at Thomas Jefferson University and finished fellowships in cardiovascular medicine and advanced heart failure and transplantation at the UF College of Medicine. He is the recipient of a Spirit of Gainesville Award for his medical work in the greater community.
  • Jose Lezama, M.D., is an internal medicine specialist based in Tampa, Florida. A champion of practicing humanistic medicine, Lezama serves as the chief of medicine at the James A. Haley Veterans Administration Hospital. He is a professor at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and vice-chair of the department of internal medicine. Lezama received his medical degree from the UF College of Medicine in 1997 and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of South Florida.
  • Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D, is the director of the UF Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program and co-director of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy. He is the Phyllis Kottler Friedman Professor for the UF department of neurosurgery and the State of Florida Endowed Cancer Research Chair at the UF College of Medicine. Mitchell received his medical and doctorate degrees from Duke University and completed his post-graduate research in neuro-oncology and pathology at Duke University Medical Center. His clinical trial work aims to see improvements in patient outcomes using novel approaches that stimulate immune responses against malignant brain tumor cells in combination with current standard treatments.
  • Carolyn Holland, M.D., joined the UF department of emergency medicine as the physician director of quality in 2012. She received her medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, completed an emergency medicine residency at the University of Cincinnati and completed a pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Holland divides her clinical time between the pediatric and adult emergency departments. Her research and administrative work focuses on quality improvement, patient safety and resident education, with the goal of creating a culture of transparency and justness in the patient safety reporting process.

UF medical students Tuesday, April 3

Soul Pancake Student Activity
Noon | Harrell Medical Education Building

UF College of Medicine facultyWednesday, April 4

Faculty Appreciation Reception
5:30 p.m. | Harrell Medical Education Building Scott Commons

Dr. Tyndall grand roundsThursday, April 5

Department of Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity
9:30 a.m. | Communicore C-15

Sheryl Heron, M.D., M.P.H., FACEP, professor of emergency medicine and vice chair of administrative affairs and assistant dean of clinical education and student affairs at Emory University School of Medicine, will present a talk titled “Unconscious Bias — What do we know and what can we do?”

Friday, April 6

Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds
Noon – 1 p.m. | McKnight Brain Institute DeWeese Auditorium

Andres Pumariega, M.D., and Michelle Jacobs-Elliott, M.D., will present a talk titled “Stigma and Culture: Contributions to Mental Health Disparities.” CME credit is available.

College of Public Health and Health Professions Research Day
Noon – 1 p.m. | HPNP Auditorium

Keynote speaker Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham will host a talk in conjunction with the UF College of Medicine’s Celebration of Diversity Week and the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions’ Research Day. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, director of the Division of Preventive Medicine at UAB, director of the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, and senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the UAB School of Medicine. Lunch will be provided to the first 200 attendees.

Live musicAccepted Student Week Reception (ALUMNI INVITE ONLY)
6 – 8 p.m. | Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

Business attire.

CANCELLED: Spring Social
8 p.m. | ARB Courtyard

Feranmi Okanlami MDSaturday, April 7

Accepted Student Week Lunch (ALUMNI INVITE ONLY)
12:30 – 2 p.m. | Harrell Medical Education Building

Parking validation is available. Attire is business casual.

Office for Diversity and Health Equity Emerald Ball (INVITE ONLY)
6:30 p.m. | Harrell Medical Education Building

This event will feature a keynote address from Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, an assistant professor of family medicine with a joint appointment in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Okanlami was born in Nigeria before immigrating to the US at a young age. He attended High School at Deerfield Academy and college at Stanford University where he also ran Track & Field serving as captain his last two seasons and achieving Academic All American recognition. Dr. Okanlami then earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan before matching into Orthopedic Surgery at Yale. At the beginning of his 3rd year he suffered a spinal cord injury, paralyzing him from the chest down. After two surgeries and intense rehabilitation, he was blessed with some return of motor function.

Dr. Okanlami went on to earn a master’s degree in Engineering, Science, and Technology Entrepreneurship from The University of Notre Dame, and completed his Family Medicine Residency at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana. He served on the St. Joseph County Board of Health, appointed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg; is the VP of the River City Challenged Athletes, a non-profit that supports the local adaptive sports teams; wheelchair basketball and sled hockey. He was the Chairman of the capital campaign for St. Joseph County Clubhouse, a community organization for people with serious mental illness, and is the Director of Design the Future: Midwest, a summer program that teaches high school students to utilize design thinking and entrepreneurship to create solutions for problems facing people with disabilities.  He was awarded one of Michiana’s 2017 Forty under Forty awards and has a catch phrase, “Disabusing Disability,” hoping to demonstrate that DISability doesn’t necessarily mean INability, with a goal of creating a health system that is both inclusive and accessible for all. Learn more about Okanlami in the video below.

Event is black tie optional. Please RSVP to RSVP@hsc.ufl.edu or 352-294-8452 and indicate your reservation is for the Emerald Ball.