Published: November 11, 2021
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has become a popular focus area for many and the credentialing space is no exception, with more industry professionals wanting to see and enact change. While there are qualified professionals from minority groups such as Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC); people with disabilities; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender (LGBTQ+), the industry does not equally represent them.
The I.C.E. Exchange (Nov. 15-18) session, “Hey! Why Doesn’t Anybody Look Like Me?,” will explore DEI in the credentialing industry. Presenters Mihaiela R. Gugiu, PhD, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (The Registry), Dawn Morton-Rias, EdD, PA-C, National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistances (NCCPA), and Robin Rone, Apra International, will join Beverly Black (moderator), NCCPA, to discuss strategies for enhancing DEI and provide insight on how to assess an organization’s DEI efforts. I.C.E. recently spoke with Black about their DEI background what attendees will gain from this session.
What is your background with the topic you are presenting on and why does it interest you?
Prior to my role as president and CEO of NCCPA, I served as professor and dean of the college of health professions at the State University of New York. There I developed and delivered cultural competency curricula for health professions students, conducted a number of studies on cultural competence and implemented holistic admissions programs aimed at recruiting and retaining diverse students. Through revision of the recruitment process, I hired and retained diverse faculty and developed professional development programs on cultural competence and inclusion that have since been delivered to health professions faculty in the United States and Middle East. My Fulbright scholarship focused on faculty development on diversity and inclusion, and over the past three years I have helped implement a number of DEI initiatives at NCCPA.
Why is this topic important to the credentialing profession?
The public is increasingly more diverse and credentialing organizations are charged with protecting the public’s interests; we have an obligation to ensure that our credentialing processes are reflective of a broad range of perspectives. Exam teams should be composed of people with diverse perspectives, and our assessment strategies should minimize unintended bias and stereotyping. These efforts are not intuitive inasmuch there is a great deal of unconscious bias imbedded in American society. We must be purposeful in our efforts.
What highlights do you hope attendees will take away from your session?
Awareness is the first step toward action. As tennis champion Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I applaud the author of our proposal for submitting this session and I.C.E. for accepting it. This topic is timely and valuable.