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ECHO based Racial Equity Learning Community for Academic Healthcare Leaders

You are invited to participate in a FREE four-part program about equity hosted by the University of Tennessee, College of Nursing and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This program targets healthcare education institutions of RWJ scholar alumni who will join the program along with one non-RWJ Scholar alumni senior leader from the same institution.  Together, you will engage in the four-session program (set to begin January 2021). At the end of the program, you will activate your action plan in your home institution. The action plan you develop is unique to your institution based on your needs (it may focus on diverse faculty retention, or diverse student retention or recruitment, or diverse clinical learning or diversity content in curricula, etc.).

Program Leadership

Dr. Corliss Thompson, PhD

Dr. Corliss Brown Thompson is an associate teaching professor and assistant dean in the Graduate School of Education at Northeastern University. She was the recipient of the 2016 Northeastern University College of Professional Studies Excellence in Teaching Award. Her research interests include applied research and program evaluation along with culture, diversity, and multicultural education. Dr. Thompson has coauthored diversity related articles and is currently the principal investigator of a National Science Foundation funded research project investigated experiential learning in high schools for students underrepresented in STEM fields. Dr. Thompson has presented diversity related research at the American Research Association Conference, the American Educational Studies Conference, and the North Carolina Associate of Research in Education Conference.

Dr. Thompson enjoys presenting and working with organizations on diversity related issues. Selected diversity-related talks and projects include “Invisible Inhibitors: Implicit Bias, Micro-Inequities and Other Barriers to Inclusion” for the Charlotte Chamber Inclusive Workplace Symposium, “How to Be an Antiracist: Unpacking our Own Privilege to Take Action as Leaders” for the University of Tennessee, “Implicit Bias, Culture, and Perceptions: Personal and Professional Understandings in Action” Webinar for MHI, and Systemic oppression: Privilege, Discrimination, and Personal Responsibility for Northeastern University.

Dr. Victoria Niederhauser, DrPH, RN, PPCNP-BC, FAAN

Dr. Victoria Niederhauser is the Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Niederhauser is a board certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow (2008) and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She has received several National awards and currently serves on the Board of the Beryl Institute and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Board of Directors. Dr. Niederhauser is one of the program directors who worked closely with Dr. Thompson on developing the program and will be an active participant throughout the program.

Dr. Tami Wyatt, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE, ANEF, FAAN

Dr. Tami Wyatt is the Associate Dean for Research at the University of Tennessee, College of Nursing. Dr. Wyatt has been a nurse educator for over 25 years and is a certified nurse educator and healthcare simulation educator. Dr. Wyatt is the Torchbearer Professor, an RWJ fellow (2014), and a Co-Director of the Health Information Technology & Simulation Lab. Dr. Wyatt is one of the program directors who worked closely with Dr. Thompson on developing the program and will be an active participant throughout the program.

Program Curriculum

This Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) learning format introduces senior academic healthcare leaders to key concepts central to racial equity – Implicit bias, understanding systematic oppression and racism, and creating a plan towards racial equity.

In this ECHO learning community format, the academic diversity, equity, and inclusion expert, Dr. Corliss Thompson presents content and shares a case study that applies the concepts discussed.  True to the ECHO format, you will virtually connect from a distance and most of the session will be dedicated to reflection, discussion, and application based on case scenarios that target pathways for building a culture of health.

The following sessions will introduce you to key concepts related to building anti-racist, equitable approaches toward creating a “Culture of Health” within their respective institutions and integrated into their curriculum.


Implicit Bias: Understanding Racialized Histories (1.5 hours),

This session will discuss implicit bias as a foundation for thinking about race and identity, and share a framework for exploring one’s own (and others) racialized history and experiences.

Understanding Systemic Oppression and Racism: Working towards Equity (1.5 hours)

This session will present multiple frameworks for understanding oppression and racial injustice.


Creating a Timeline/Plan towards Racial Equity (1.5 hours)

The third session offers a framework to support action planning for racial equity. Participants will consider lessons learned from the previous two sessions as well as “Pathways for Building a Culture of Health” in order to create an action plan for achieving racial equity in their workplace.

Monitoring Progress (1.5 hours)

For the last session, the cohort will be the “expert” presenters. The purpose of this meeting will be to share the plans, progress, and challenges met with fulfilment of the action plan.

Program Details

This program is FREE to all invited participants. In order to participate you and one other team member must qualify in one of the following ways: One team member must be an RWJ Fellow in a senior leader position at a healthcare education institution; One team member must be a non-RWJ fellow in a senior leadership position at the same healthcare education institution. Together you will participate in all four educational sessions. All sessions will be conducted virtually via a HIPAA compliant Zoom meeting.

Dates and times of sessions:

  • January 26th 1-2:30 pm EST
  • March 9th 1-2:30 pm EST
  • May 17th 1-2:30 pm EST
  • June 21st 1-2:30 pm EST

Spots are limited to 7 teams and participants will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis. If you are interested, please submit the application below. A confirmation email will be sent to you after you apply and one of the program directors will be in contact with you to confirm your acceptance into the program.