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2023 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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3005 — Developing Context-Specific Approaches to COIN Workforce Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

Lead/Presenter: Kimberly Max Brown,  COIN - Pittsburgh/Philadelphia
All Authors: Brown KM, CHERP Philadelphia; Turner CD, CCMR Ann Arbor; Mitchell-Miland CE, CHERP Pittsburgh;

Workshop Objectives:
To better reflect the diversity of the Veterans we serve, the VA Office of Research and Development has prioritized diversifying the VA research workforce. However, to remain effective and sustainable, these efforts must also address organizational equity, inclusion, and accessibility. We suggest organizational context will provide important clues regarding how to enact these concepts. Accordingly, this workshop will: (1) Present an overview of important considerations and resources for designing, measuring, and implementing diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible practices, processes and procedures at the Center of Innovation (COIN) level, (2) Present three examples of operationalized methods from different COINs, and (3) Provide opportunity for participants to devise a basic framework and initial steps for operationalizing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) within their workplace.

Activities:
This session will workshop factors influencing DEIA integration at the individual, organizational, and community levels. Respectively, this framing points to careful weighing of concerns regarding psychological safety, means of organizational assessment, and engagement and leveraging of Veteran, community, and institutional partners. Presenters will introduce basic terms, concepts, and considerations for organizational work in DEIA. Each presenter will also share their site-specific mechanisms for designing, measuring, and implementing DEIA efforts. Following these brief talks, the session will pivot to interactive exercises in which participants apply these concepts in ways suited to their work environment. Interactive activities will help attendees evaluate and intervene to, for example, improve psychological safety, identify salient DEIA objectives, explore techniques and measures for qualitative and/or quantitative assessment, and engage Veterans and institutional and community partners in their efforts. Attendees will also examine the role of DEIA committees and available VA resources to support their organizational DEIA efforts.

Target Audience:
Researchers, research staff, and community partners engaged in, or planning to engage in, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts within the COIN environment.

Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic:
No prior experience or familiarity is necessary. The workshop is geared to anyone with interest in learning more about how to create more diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible work environments.