About Building Community

"Building Community isn't a project that will come and go. This is a fundamental transition in how we approach our working and learning environment."

Dean Robert Golden, MD

Why are we doing this?

White coat ceremonyQuite simply, it is the right thing to do. When we are at our best, our skills in interacting with each other are a source of strength for our patients and drive our discoveries and learning forward.

We’re leaders in education, research, patient care and service, and yet we remain vulnerable to the challenges facing medical schools and academic health centers across the country, including burnout and incivility. While we know these issues are complex and pervasive, we simply won’t settle for good enough. We aim to set the gold standard for for professionalism, collegiality and inclusiveness.

We must create an exceptional culture in which our faculty, staff and learners feel empowered to reach their goals and be the best they can be. We must be able to recruit and retain physicians, scientists and students from diverse backgrounds, and make them feel welcomed and valued. And we must take better care of each other and ourselves to address issues of stress and burnout.

This effort requires nothing less than total commitment from each of us. It will at times be difficult, and it will not happen quickly. But it is imperative to fulfilling our missions of service, scholarship, science and social responsibility.

Building Community – our shared values

Student research forum

  • Integrity: Doing the right things at the right time and place. Focus on the best interests of patients. Be honest with patients, learners and each other.
  • Innovation: Finding new and better ways to enhance quality of care and all aspects of our work.
  • Compassion: Treat patients, families, learners and each other with kindness and empathy. Connect with patients and families individually and personally and engage them as partners in their care decisions.
  • Accountability: Be individually and collectively responsible for the work we do and for the outcomes and experience of every patient, every learner, every day.
  • Respect: Honor patients’ right to privacy and confidentiality. Value differences among individuals and groups. Actively listen, encourage feedback and choose the best way to deliver timely and meaningful information.
  • Excellence: Strive to be the best and work continuously to improve performance and exceed expectations.
  • Diversity: Foster a culture of inclusion and respect among our patients, employees, learners, and the communities we serve. Through teaching, discovery and advocacy, promote equity in access to quality health care.

Building Community priorities

Word cloud

  • Promote awareness, understanding and commitment to our shared values of integrity, innovation, compassion, accountability, respect, excellence and diversity.
  • Ensure that the learning and working environments across SMPH are inclusive, welcoming to all, and allow all individuals to feel connected and to flourish.
  • Continue to build a diverse community of faculty, staff and learners.
  • Promote a culture in which discrimination and harassment are not tolerated.
  • Ensure individuals and departments have resources that will allow them to enact transformational change in our organization’s culture.

Building Community process

Researchers forming a WThis past year, our Building Community Steering Committee conducted research and listening sessions to gather your ideas regarding the best ways to invest in these priorities. They have developed two working groups – one focused on professionalism and accountability, and the other focused on equity, inclusion and engagement. We’re also collaborating very closely with UW Health on clinician wellness programming.

In the coming months, the working groups will announce specific goals, initiatives and strategies that will take this work deeper.

We’re building on a strong foundation, and we’ll continue to support existing initiatives that carry out these priorities.