Eight Straight ‘Excellence in Diversity’ Awards

2022 HEED Award Logo

For the eighth consecutive year, the UF College of Dentistry was recognized for its diversity, inclusion, equity and access efforts as one of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s 2022 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, Awardees, a national honor recognizing U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

2025/2026 Big Little Reveal
UFCD DMD Classes of 2025 & 2026 Big/Little Reveal

From 2015-20 the College of Dentistry was the only University of Florida college to earn the higher education award, and for two straight years now, dentistry and the College of Pharmacy have both been lauded by Insight Into Diversity magazine for their extensive efforts to foster belonging and create warm, welcoming environments through a commitment to inclusive excellence at all levels within the two colleges.

In addition to its education, research, patient care and service missions, UFCD places great value on promoting and supporting a culture of dignity, respect, support and compassion fostered through a diverse and inclusive environment through many avenues, including class diversity officers and faculty and staff initiatives like the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access – or IDEA – Workgroup. The college strives to cultivate a humanistic environment; a culture that values each individual, their beliefs and perspectives, while fostering a welcoming, respectful and healthy environment for all students, prospective students, residents, employees, patients, and visitors.

UFCD Heed Reps
L to R: Abel Gilbert, Dr. Pamela Sandow, Dr. Isabel Garcia and Dr. Patty Probert at the Earl and Christy Powell University House

“Receiving the INSIGHT Into Diversity HEED and Health Professions HEED awards for eight consecutive years is both an honor and a privilege. Each award the College of Dentistry receives is a collective, active reflection of where we are and where we are headed. In 2022 we’re celebrating 50 years since we began training new dentists to serve the state and the nation, and our mission guides us to create an environment of inclusive excellence for our students, residents, faculty, staff and our patients. The work we do today paves the road ahead for the next 50 years to come.”

Dr. Patty Probert, Associate Dean for Student Advocacy & Inclusion

The efforts and subsequent recognition for dentistry and pharmacy highlighted the University of Florida’s first-ever institutional HEED Award in 2022. UF Chief Diversity Officer Marsha McGriff, Ph.D., who entered her role at the university in Fall 2021, has deployed the beginning stages of an Inclusive Excellence Blueprint at UF that will inform the priorities and goals in the areas of enhancing belonging and inclusion, while McGriff and her staff continue to work closely with diversity liaisons in each unit to implement initiatives across the entire campus.

Representatives from the college and university, including UFCD Dean Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H., Associate Dean for Student Advocacy and Inclusion Patty Probert, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Admissions and Finance Pam Sandow, D.M.D., and Assistant Director of Admissions Abel Gilbert, were part of a HEED Award celebration with McGriff and UF President Kent Fuchs, Ph.D., at the Earl and Christy Powell University House on October 17.

22 Summer Research Program
2022 UFCD Summer Research Program

Efforts at the UF Academic Health Center are also thriving as Lakesha Butler, Pharm.D., was named UF Health’s associate vice president for inclusion, diversity and health equity, and chief diversity officer in August.

Diversity, inclusion, health equity and access are top priorities at UF, UFCD and UF Health. The college has continually made tangible strides toward a model academic and environmental culture in which differences are invited, recognized, appreciated and valued.

The College of Dentistry boasts a diverse student population, including two of the most diverse classes in history in the DMD classes of 2025 and 2026. Key pipeline programs, like the Summer Health Professions Education Program and Keys to Success, both under Probert, provide opportunities for underrepresented students interested in the health professions.

2019 SHPEP Dentistry Track
2019 UF Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) dentistry track students

While focusing on diversity, inclusion, health equity and access within the walls of the college, serving those underrepresented populations in the state of Florida and beyond is a huge part of the College of Dentistry mission. More than 70 percent of the college’s patients meet federal low-income guidelines. Through its five dental centers, the UF Statewide Network for Community Oral Health and numerous partnerships and programs in Alachua County and the Sunshine State, UFCD serves patients from all 67 counties in Florida. Add in educational service trips to Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica and the Bahamas, where 500-800 patients are served on a traditional year, UFCD’s access to oral health care is immeasurable.

Bahamas Educational Service Trip
UFCD 2019 Bahamas Educational Service Trip

“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award, the College of Dentistry will be featured, along with 64 other recipients, in the December 2022 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Recipients of the 2022 Health Professions HEED Award

  • A.T. Still University of Graduate Health Sciences
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
  • Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
  • Florida State University College of Medicine
  • Frontier Nursing University
  • Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON)
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • MGH Institute of Health Professions
  • Michigan Medicine University of Michigan Medical School
  • New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing
  • Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
  • Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • School of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (SVMBS)
  • Texas A&M University Irma Lerma Rangel School of Pharmacy
  • Texas Christian University School of Medicine
  • The Medical College of Wisconsin
  • The Medical University of South Carolina
  • The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • The Ohio State University College of Nursing
  • The Ohio State University College of Optometry
  • The Ohio State University College of Public Health
  • The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
  • The University of North Carolina School of Medicine
  • Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine New York
  • UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • UNC-Greensboro School of Nursing
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)
  • University of California Riverside School of Medicine
  • University of California, Davis, School of Medicine
  • University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
  • University of California, Los Angeles, School of Nursing
  • University of Cincinnati College of Nursing
  • University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy
  • University of Cincinnati, College of Allied Health Sciences
  • University of Florida College of Dentistry
  • University of Florida College of Pharmacy
  • University of Houston College of Nursing
  • University of Kentucky, College of Medicine, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore – School of Nursing
  • University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • University of Minnesota School of Nursing
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine
  • University of Rochester School of Nursing
  • University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston School of Dentistry (UTSD)
  • University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • University of Virginia School of Nursing
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • VCOM – Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
  • Weill Cornell Medicine

For more information about the 2022 Health Professions HEED Award, visit insightintodiversity.com.

About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is well-known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at insightintodiversity.com.