It is an honor and privilege for me to be a part of Des Moines University. As the director for multicultural affairs, I look forward to working with students, faculty and staff to make DMU even better than it already is. I am excited to offer opportunities in the area of diversity and cultural competency for all of us on campus to broaden our awareness and understanding of different cultures.
Changing demographics in the U.S. and rapid diversification of our communities present challenges to health care professionals. These changes and the resulting increasing dimensions of diversity will continue to challenge all of us to work toward reducing disparities in health care in the years to come.
DMU is committed to preparing our students for these challenges. We strive to provide opportunities for students to gain the intercultural competency skills they need to effectively serve and improve the lives of all individuals. By helping students understand, value and incorporate into practice diversity’s multiple dimensions, DMU faculty and staff continue to prepare and educate diverse groups of highly competent and compassionate future health professionals – YOU, our students.
As students at DMU, you will have many ways and experiences to gain skill sets that will enhance and contribute to your personal and professional development. Part of that development is to become culturally competent. It is important to recognize that becoming culturally competent is an ongoing process. We will challenge you to examine your own cultural biases and stereotypes in your educational journey here. The end result will equip and empower you to be a part of a global health care system that responds appropriately to and is inclusive in delivering positive health outcomes for a multicultural society.
Rich A. Salas, Ph.D.
Director of Multicultural Affairs