Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Baylor College of Medicine Department of Neurosurgery is committed to making positive, meaningful change in the diversity, equity and inclusion of our education, research and healthcare missions, now and into the future.
Our strategic goals are guided by the five pillars set forth by the Office of Community Engagement & Health Equity: infrastructure; recruitment and onboarding; retention and advancement; climate, inclusion and engagement; and health equity, training and research. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council is led by the department Inclusion and Equity Ambassadors and DEI committee members.
Neurosurgery Inclusion and Equity Ambassadors
Kelly Bijanki, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Neuroscience Graduate Program Faculty
Alfonso Fuentes, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery, Chief of Neurosurgery, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Neurosurgery DEI Committee Members
Lead Coordinator, Patient Support Services, Neurosurgery
Our diverse group of trainees represents a multitude of backgrounds, beliefs and perspectives, reflecting the multi-cultural society in which we live and practice. We continually seek strategies to improve bias awareness in the field and to strengthen our commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. Our residents and fellows train at several different facilities, each representing a diverse patient population.
Recently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the 35th most diverse medical school, Baylor College of Medicine fosters diversity as a prerequisite to accomplishing our institutional mission and setting standards for excellence in training healthcare providers and providing patient-centered care. Through providing educational weekly conferences and offering additional educational tools and assistance, we continue to create an environment for our trainees to support and develop an inclusive educational experience.
We believe that our differences strengthen our science, and that diverse faculty, staff and trainees allow us to approach problems from multiple perspectives and to pursue new and exciting research directions. The Department of Neurosurgery and Baylor College of Medicine strive to create an inclusive and equitable environment where scientists and researchers are free to be themselves every day and make impactful discoveries regardless of gender, race, religion, country of origin, disability, LGBTQ+, veteran or refugee status. In parallel, it is critical to ensure that all people can benefit from our research, which is especially important in areas like cancer research where survival rates are lower for underrepresented minorities (URM). We recognize the need for more women and URM in Neurosurgery and are striving to increase representation. BCM Neurosurgery faculty actively participate in several college-wide programs aimed at increasing diversity and equity in biomedical research and supporting researchers at multiple career stages.
Located in the fourth largest city in the country, we are proud to serve a patient base that is as demographically diverse as the Houston metropolitan area itself at each of our affiliated hospitals. In addition to our clinic at the McNair campus, we provide neurosurgical services for both the Harris Health System, a public hospital system for Harris County residents, and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. We also aim to eliminate barriers to healthcare access by providing telehealth services for select subspecialties and in-person/virtual interpretation services in both ambulatory and hospital settings.
Our physicians also strive for equity in healthcare through their interests and research, which strengthen their practice. Our faculty have led studies including: "Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in Patients With Meningioma: A Retrospective Cohort Study," "Effect of health disparities on overall survival of patients with glioblastoma," and "Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma Outcomes and Cost: Analysis of the Kids' Inpatient Database," which address disparities in accessibility to healthcare.
Faculty and Staff
We are committed to reducing bias during the recruitment process and are actively developing programs to support and retain faculty and staff from diverse groups. We recognize the need for diversity, equity and inclusion within our faculty and staff and understand the role each plays in providing excellent healthcare for our patients, as well as a rewarding workspace for our team members.
It is our goal to ensure that all members of our team enjoy a comfortable working environment. This includes providing accommodations for working families, such as back up child care, elder care and lactation stations. At an organizational level, employee wellness is a priority and all Baylor College of Medicine employees are encouraged to participate in our BCM BeWell Program, which promotes a culture of health and wellness throughout the College.