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Dr. R. Franklin Trimm recently was named associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and assistant vice president for medical affairs at USA Health.
“Diversity and inclusion at our academic medical center is one of our primary strengths. We are fortunate to have faculty, staff, students and patients who have diverse experiences, cultures and perspectives,” said Dr. John V. Marymont, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the USA College of Medicine. “USA Health realizes the importance of supporting an environment where diversity is embraced and celebrated. Dr. Trimm will play a critical role in incorporating these ideals into our daily practices as we strengthen our organization’s ability to succeed in our mission.”
According to Owen Bailey, chief executive officer and senior associate vice president for medical affairs at USA Health, this appointment follows a national search. “Dr. Trimm has extensive experience related to diversity and inclusion on a national level and has demonstrated success in bringing about organizational change. This, along with his recruitment experiences here, gives him a unique advantage to continue strengthening our institution.”
In his new role, Dr. Trimm will be responsible for the oversight of policies and programs related to diversity and inclusion for students, residents, research and clinical fellows, faculty and staff in USA Health and the USA College of Medicine.
Prior to his appointment, Dr. Trimm served as professor and vice chair of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and a pediatric developmental and behavioral physician with USA Physicians Group. He also served as pediatric residency director for the USA College of Medicine.
According to Dr. Trimm, his overarching goal is to improve the diversity and culture of the organization to be inclusive of all groups. “To begin, we must conduct a detailed environmental scan of the entire health system,” he said. “Based on standard approaches, this process could take six to nine months.”
Dr. Trimm credits his previous experiences in medical education and national organizations for preparing him for this position. “Almost everything that I have had the opportunity to do throughout my career provided me with the information, experience and skills needed to perform in this position,” he said. “I have chosen to work in health systems that typically serve underserved communities, which tend to be underrepresented minorities and diverse populations. As residency program director, I also have had the opportunity to work with a very diverse group of people.”
Dr. Trimm also serves as president of the Association of Pediatric Program Directors (APPD), an organization that assists pediatric programs across the nation by leading the advancement of education to ensure the health and well-being of children. “I had the opportunity to be a founding leader of a group with the APPD that focuses on LGBTQ diversity,” he said. “The group focused on addressing ways to make sure those members of the community were understood in the medical education setting and ensuring that our future pediatricians are competent in serving LGBTQ families. I also support an additional group that focuses on underrepresented minorities, raising awareness of implicit biases.”
Dr. Trimm said USA Health has an opportunity to continue striving toward excellence, not just a good contributor in medicine. “Excellence on every front involves a diverse group of people being part of a team,” he said. “The higher the diversity, the greater chance we have of achieving excellence.”
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