CAFP Board Member Cleveland Piggott, MD, MPH, has been named the Vice Chair for Diversity, Health Equity, and Inclusion at the The University of Colorado Department of Family Medicine (DFM). This is a wonderful step for Dr. Piggott, who has devoted his life toward social justice and health equity. We are so proud of Dr. Piggott, and offer our heartfelt congratulations for this much-deserved recognition.
“The DFM’s mission is to make people healthier and the diversity and health equity program’s goal has been to make sure EVERYONE is healthier. We do that by taking an equity approach to everything we do, increasing our diversity, and making sure everyone feels included. We also do this by taking an anti-oppression and anti-racism lens to our policies and looking inward at how we got here,” Dr. Piggott says. “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is truly everyone’s job, but we need to be strategic and smart with our limited resources and prioritize efforts that have the most impact and align with our goals and passions. For too long, organizations have been reactive to DEI problems or thought of it as too big of an issue.”
Dr. Piggott continues, “With my new role, the Department is making a clear statement that we WILL be proactive in our DEI efforts, we CAN make a difference when it comes to health equity in our community, and this truly is a CORE value. My partner in this work, Dionisia de la Cerda and I have been successful in this work in large part because of building relationships. However, medicine is still very hierarchical, and this title allows our voices and values to be at tables where decisions are made.I’m truly grateful for the Department putting that trust in me and excited about the work we’ll be doing together.”
He views this as a truly hopeful moment for making systems more equitable: “This is truly a team effort. We will fail if we don’t have all hands on deck, still I’m excited and hopeful. Three years ago, our campus had just one Vice Chair (or equivalent) for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Now, I’m one of a growing handful, and you’re seeing this trend nationally. Whether these positions will be given the resources and authority they need to be successful is yet to be seen.”
He continues, “As Sam Cooke sang in 1964 ‘it’s been a long, long time coming, but I know a change gonna come.'”
Read the full announcement from CU DFM.