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The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is passionately dedicated to promoting health equity and cultural competency within DHREM and the Denver community. This is accomplished through community partnerships and initiatives within the residency. 
Mission Statement

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine and the University of Colorado Department of Emergency medicine are passionately committed to:


​1. Encouraging, supporting and providing equal opportunity to diverse individuals to be prepared and competitive to enter the field of medicine regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identification, or disability.​


2. Increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in medicine in order to advance performance through increased understanding, acceptance, and shared world views through pipeline programs, modeling, and support at the community, undergraduate and graduate level.


3. Assuring success and retention of diverse residents, junior faculty and faculty through education, exposure and mentorship with clear academic and community support.


4. Developing culturally sensitive evidence based health care practices and educational programs.


5. Reflecting the diversity of our surrounding communities and the world around us so that we may ensure exceptional health care and alleviate healthcare disparities and inequities by having diverse representation in all spheres of practice.


Founded in 2012 by residents Drs. Dowin Boatright and Java Tunson, staff member Christy Angerhofer, and faculty mentor Dr. Jeffrey Druck, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee at the Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine was originally developed to increase the number of under-represented minority (URM) candidates who were interviewed and matched at our program.

Since its inception, the committee has been dedicated to the recruitment of diverse applicants through a scholarship-based externship program, the hosting of an annual interdepartmental second-look event for minority applicants, and by increasing the involvement and visibility of URM faculty in the residency interview and recruitment process. 


The DE&I committee has broadened its scope including the coordination of a dedicated diversity curriculum introduced into our departmental conferences,  journal clubs, cultural appreciation events and programming, lectures on health policy and health disparities, group attendance of social justice events, and more, in collaboration with the Minority and Ally Resident Council of the University of Colorado. 

For more information, see this 2015 article published in Academic Medicine: "Increasing Resident Diversity in an Emergency Medicine Residency Program: A Pilot Intervention With Three Principal Strategies" by Tunson, Java MD; Boatright, Dowin MD, MBA; Oberfoell, Stephanie MD; Angerhofer, Christy; Lowenstein, Steven MD, MPH; Zane, Richard MD; King, Renee MD, MPH; Druck, Jeffrey MD.



DE&I in Didactics 


During our departmental weekly conference, we have an 8-hour two year revolving curriculum, as well as additional supplemental sessions included in intern orientation, our clinical externships and available for asynchronous credit. 

“Perspective Taking” is a DE&I focused project that has been taking place over the last several years. The project’s goal is to engage our rotating sub-intern medical students in learning about the diverse patient population we are privileged to serve at Denver Health and University of Colorado Hospital. This project also helps to form student-resident relationships and inclusion through mentorship.

Students are asked to interview someone in the hospital (patient, patient family member, hospital staff, etc.) with differing backgrounds and experiences in the medical field with open-ended interview questions. Each small group then meets over coffee/lunch to reflect on their experiences and choose one specific patient interview to inspire their "deep dive.” The group of students and resident mentor collaborate on a literature review regarding health disparities in their chosen interviewee’s population to develop an infographic that is presented during conference time. 


Denver Health is nationally recognized as an “LGBTQ+ Center of Excellence.” Denver Health is open, affirming and provides excellent care for ALL people and its mission is to be the source of healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community. 


As residents at DHREM, we are privileged to care for this community, and our residents and faculty are proud members, allies and advocates. Please reach out if you would like to be connected with a member of the LGBTQ+ community within our residency or faculty.


A new DE&I Seed Grant was developed which will offer up to 5000$ in grant funding for up to two projects per year in order to create funded opportunities for DE&I scholarship. 

DE&I at University of Colorado

We work closely with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion through the School of Medicine, and with the Minority and Allied Resident Council, founded by our very own chief resident from the class of 2020, Dr. Jeremy Collado. The MARC invites residents and fellows across specialties and clinical sites through community gatherings and mentorship.  Through the MARC, we’ve had the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field of DE&I, and learn about health policy matters from our state legislators. More details about our collaborations with the University of Colorado can be found here.



Community Engagement Series


Started in 2022, the objective of the Community Engagement Series (CES) is to better understand our community in order to better care for our patients. Through the CES, residents spend time together in our community and away from the hospital, engaging in activities such as touring the Denver County Jail, caring for patients experiencing homelessness through street medicine, and serving a hot meal at Denver Rescue Mission.  Through these community activities, we strive to mitigate burnout, promote interclass relationships among residents, and most importantly learn from our community to become better doctors. We hope these experiences broaden our horizons and help us better understand the needs of patients beyond our textbooks and stethoscopes.


The three pillars of the CES mission include: 

1) Better understand the context in which our patients live to better serve our patients and grow to be better clinicians

2) Build relationships within the community and promote wellness

3) Create a scholarly approach to social emergency medicine as a core of our curriculum

At-Risk Intervention Mentoring (AIM)


Founded in 2010, AIM provides bedside interventions for youth and young adults (ages 14-27) presenting to the Denver Health Emergency Department after a violent injury (shooting, stabbing, assault). Clients are connected with needed medical, mental health and substance abuse services, support for school success, and job training and retention through focused mentoring and case management by highly-trained culturally-competent AIM outreach workers who have similar lived experiences. AIM is funded by city contributions, grand funding through the Office of Victims of Crime, and philanthropic donations. In 2019, Aim provided bedside interventions to 496 patients in Denver Health’s Emergency Department, along with many different community outreach events including trauma-informed care trainings and healing circles. The city of Aurora recently approved funding for an AIM expansion to the University of Colorado hospital.

Health Interest Program


The Healthcare Interest Program (HIP) is a grassroots Denver Health mentorship program that works to increase the success of underprivileged, underrepresented college students who are interested in careers in healthcare. HIP works with the University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Regis University of Denver to successfully enroll these students into the training or graduate school of their choice. Providers across Denver Health, including attendings within our Emergency Department, help provide specialized opportunities for these students.


Medical Career Collaborative


The Medical Career Collaborative (MC²) program propels high school students towards careers in healthcare through hands-on experiences and professional development opportunities. MC² is a two-year program, with programming activities taking place at both Denver Health and Children’s Hospital Colorado.

​BA/BS-MD Program Information 

The BA/BS-MD degree program at the University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus aims to promote the diversity of medical professionals practicing medicine in Colorado and to better serve the health care needs of the State of Colorado by assembling up to 10 outstanding students each year from broadly diverse backgrounds. This program is a partnership between the University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. 

Want to learn more?


Please feel free to email any of the members of the DE&I committee to learn more! 

Current Leadership 


Dr. Jacqueline Ward-Gaines – Director of DE&I,

Dr. Jennifer Whitfield – Equity Lead, The Global Emergency Medicine Initiative,

Dr. Molly Theissen – Research in Language, Equity and Justice,   

Dr. Benjamin Li –  Medical Director, At-risk Intervention and Mentoring (AIM) Program,

Dr. Manuel Montaño – URM Externship Director and Clerkship Director,

Christy Angerhofer – Diversity and Inclusion Professional,

Dr. Kristina Munoz –  Resident Co-Chair,

Dr. Kate Simeon – Resident Co-Chair,

Dr. Anthony Rodriguez– Recruitment Lead,

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