Recognized for Diversity, 2018 HEED Award Recipient

November 2, 2018

HEED awared logo

In recognition of its commitment to diversity, GW Nursing was awarded the 2018 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award —a national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary, allied health, and other health schools and centers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — GW Nursing will be featured, along with 34 other recipients, in the December 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.    

“Diversity plays an important role in the classroom, health workforce and society,” said Dean Pamela Jeffries. “It is an honor to be recognized with the HEED award as diversity initiatives are a strategic priority for GW Nursing.” 

The annual HEED Award is the only award that recognizes colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses.  

“It is important that students are educated in learning environments that are representative of the diverse population they will serve and where their assumptions are challenged and perspectives broadened,” said Dr. Sandra Davis, assistant dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected GW Nursing for number of factors. Highlights included: 

Community Outreach 
In collaboration with the Rodham Institute, Drs. Sandra Davis and Arlene Pericak, created The Health and Community Engaged Passport — an interprofessional approach to teaching nurse practitioner students about the social determinants of health. Students in programs for nurse practitioners, medical students, physician assistants and medical residents join members of the community to learn about social, economic and environmental factors that influence health through activities such as See the City You Serve, Teach-In days and Community Health Connect meetings. 

Innovative Diversity Education 
Macy Faculty Scholar Dr. Ashley Darcy-Mahoney developed and launched “Pediatric Adversity and Early Childhood Development and Health,” a course for nursing and medical students to learn about social factors that shape health. It includes lessons such as role-playing to assess adverse childhood experience (ACE) scores and simulating living in poverty. Children are often overlooked in conversations about the intersection of poverty, stress, violence and mental illness, which can have lasting detrimental effects on their development. This course offers students the opportunity to learn the epidemiology and pathophysiology of ACEs and stress and how to provide trauma-informed care. 

Health and Wellness  
GW Nursing aims to educate a generation of nurses that can manage the stress and challenges of an ever-changing health care environment. Through the school’s Well-Being Experience, a series of eight sessions, students develop the knowledge and skills to cope with stress and adversity in healthy, proactive ways. Topics include Mindfulness and Self-Care, Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution, Anxiety and Depression, Self-care Through the Arts in Health Care, How to Manage and Cope with Stress, Transitioning to a Professional Role, Grit and Resilience, Grief and Loss.  

For more information about the 2018 Health Professions HEED Award, visit