Skip to main content

Highlights | Antiracism training teams

  • The Office of Healthcare Equity (OHCE) leads UW Medicine’s equity, diversity and inclusion training efforts.
  • Certified peer trainers complete over 30 hours of training and lead EDI courses for the UW Medicine community.
  • OHCE is actively recruiting new peer trainers for 2024, join the information session on Oct. 2 to learn more and apply by Oct. 27.

In 2019, the Office of Healthcare Equity (OHCE) began providing antiracism training, with the goal of reaching every member of the UW Medicine community.

By bringing together subject matter experts in five core equity, diversity and inclusion areas, the small team rolled out training first to leadership groups and then to teams, departments and offices across the system.

“It quickly became apparent that to reach the whole UW Medicine community, we needed more trainers,” says Lee Davis, lead trainer for OHCE.

To supplement and work alongside subject matter experts, in 2021, OHCE developed a “train-the-trainer” program to produce a group of skilled EDI peer trainers available to deliver training across our diverse system.

Now, thanks to the new cohort of certified EDI peer trainers, OHCE has vastly increased its training capacity and offers a monthly calendar of training for the community.

“These amazing trainers have made an incredible difference,” says Jonathan Kanter, director of EDI Training and Education for OHCE. “We appreciate them deeply.”

What is it like being a certified EDI peer trainer for OHCE?

To become a peer trainer with OHCE requires passion and experience in EDI, a substantial time commitment to learn the content, and a willingness to practice delivering the training and to receive feedback in front of peers and subject matter experts.

Trainees pick one of the five foundational training courses: bias and microaggressions; gender and sexual diversity; history of race and racism in science and medicine; identity, privilege and intersectionality; and social determinants of health and health disparities. They complete over 30 hours of training and practice before becoming certified by one of OHCE’s subject matter experts.

Delivering EDI training is not easy. The core of the work is in recognizing that too many members of our community have repeated experiences of bias and inequities and have felt a lack of inclusion and belonging.

Attendees at every EDI training course will be living these experiences, while others will not understand or will be dismissive. Many of the peer trainees have had these experiences as well.

“Our trainers know how to lead with compassion and not back away from hard truths, to expect the unexpected, and to reply to hard questions that even our subject matter experts will admit are unanswerable,” says Davis.

In addition to a sense of professional duty, trainees are driven by something larger — an unyielding hope and driving force to be part of the change needed to improve UW Medicine.

Meet the peer trainers

Certified EDI peer trainers are indispensable members of OHCE’s training team.

“We could not do this without our peer trainers, nor would we want to even if we could,” says Davis. “Our peer trainers bring beauty to our program and have become essential EDI ambassadors for OHCE.”

EDI peer trainers:

  • Rosemary Adamson, MD, associate professor, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, & Sleep Medicine, UW School of Medicine. Bias and Microaggressions.
  • Gary Barbour-See, academic development manager, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, UW School of Medicine. Gender and Sexual Diversity.
  • Nancy Colobong Smith, MN, ARNP, CNN, clinical nurse specialist, Patient Care Services at UW Medical Center. History of Race and Racism in Science and Medicine.
  • Flavia Consens, MD, associate professor, Neurology. Bias and Microaggressions.
  • Enedina Dumas, MSN, RN, strategic outreach manager, Center for Women and Children. Social Determinants of Health.
  • Sarah Davis, MA-MCHS, patient relations manager, Department of Patient Relations, Valley Medical Center. Identity, Privilege and Intersectionality.
  • Kim Garner, MBA, associate director of Human Resources, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Harborview Medical Center. Identity, Privilege, and Intersectionality.
  • Hannah Jordt, PhD, assistant teaching professor, Department of Genome Sciences, UW School of Medicine. Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities.
  • Masaoki Kawasumi, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Division of Dermatology, UW School of Medicine. Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities.
  • Davia Loren, MD, associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, UW School of Medicine. Bias and Microaggressions.
  • Bridget O’Connor, DNP, RN, nurse care coordinator, Emergency Department, UW Medical Center — Northwest. Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities.
  • Amanda Potter, quality improvement healthcare operations specialist, Harborview Medical Center. Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities; Gender and Sexual Diversity.
  • Esmeralda Pulido, MPH, director, project management, Patient Care Services. Bias and Microaggressions.
  • Deepti Reddi, MD, assistant professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, UW School of Medicine. Bias and Microaggressions.
  • Yvonne Simpson, senior director, Language Access and Cultural Advocacy. History of Race and Racism in Science and Medicine.

Here’s what recent trainees who completed the program had to say:

“No matter what the experience is in each session, the sessions drive me to remain steadfast in this work and do what I can,” says Kim Garner, associate director of Human Resources in the UW School of Medicine Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. “Knowing that every session is different can be intimidating and refreshing at the same time. I have learned so much from those who attend. Each brings a distinct perspective, reality, awareness, compassion and other reactions you do not expect.”

“What really surprised me about these classes is that now I’m even more passionate about racial equity. Now that I see it, I cannot un-see it,” says Amanda Potter, quality improvement healthcare operations specialist for Harborview Medical Center.

“I learned that I did not have to be an expert to make an impact. I appreciated being part of a cohort learning to be peer trainers because we learned from each other and felt safe practicing together,” says Nancy Colobong Smith, MN, ARNP, CNN, clinical nurse specialist, Patient Care Services at UW Medical Center.

Become a peer trainer

OCHE seeks committed candidates to apply to join the next cohort of peer trainers for 2024.

“We’re really proud of the evolution of this training program, and we’re hoping for a large cohort of trainees to support our capacity to respond to all the requests we receive,” says Vanessa Villalobos, program manager for OHCE’s training team. “This is an ideal opportunity for a select group of faculty and staff members who have already established a commitment to EDI work, have interest in developing their skills as an educator-facilitator, and would like to work more closely with the OHCE and our amazing group of experts and trainers.”

More details and answers to questions about this opportunity are available on OHCE’s website.

Save these dates:

  • Oct. 2, 1-2:30 p.m.: Register to join the informational session and Q&A.
  • Oct. 27: Final date to submit an application — apply now.
  • Nov. 10: Final training program selection decisions are made and applicants notified.
  • Jan. 8, 2024: If your application is selected, training begins at 12:30 p.m. and consists of 32 hours of training over the following three months.

Interested applicants also may email OHCE’s training team at