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UCSF School of Pharmacy Names First Associate Dean for Diversity

Sharon Youmans

Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH, an associate professor of clinical pharmacy and vice chair for academic affairs in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, has been named to the new position of associate dean for diversity in the UCSF School of Pharmacy. Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the School of Pharmacy, announced the appointment on Feb. 7. "Dr. Youmans chaired a task force on diversity that made several recommendations, one of which was to appoint a leader who would drive the school's diversity agenda," Koda-Kimble said. "I can think of no one who is more capable of filling this role than Sharon. Cultural diversity has been her passion. Through her practice, teaching, research and service, Sharon is already engaged in advancing and nurturing diversity with colleagues across the campus." Youmans is a member of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Diversity, which is charged with recommending to the chancellor specific actions to improve diversity at UCSF and to advise the Executive Committee on implementing the campus affirmative action plan goals. The new position in the School of Pharmacy is in alignment with two key priorities in the school's new strategic plan as well as the UCSF Strategic Plan. The school's strategic plan calls for strengthening the diversity of its faculty, students, residents, postdoctoral scholars and staff, and for fostering a culture of understanding, inclusion, equity and respect. "This is a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as the School of Pharmacy's associate dean for diversity," Youmans said. "Creating this post is evidence that Dean Koda-Kimble and the school's leadership are committed to enhancing diversity in our school and campuswide." Asked why she thinks it's important to strive for a diverse campus community, Youmans replied, "I believe that there is strength in diversity. UCSF is in the business of conducting cutting-edge research, providing world-class education and delivering innovative patient care. As we move forward to carry out our mission, I see that a diverse campus community of faculty, students and staff will inform our efforts to improve human health in our local communities and across the globe." In her new role, Youmans is charged with enhancing the school's diversity by:
  • Establishing and communicating concrete diversity goals for the school
  • Developing and implementing a plan to achieve the school's diversity goals
  • Soliciting input from students, faculty, staff and alumni through advisory groups or other forums
  • Coordinating outreach and recruitment initiatives within the school and with other health professional schools, and campus units, as appropriate.
Youmans coordinates the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences course that focuses on public health topics, including immunizations, tobacco cessation and consumer self-care. She has a strong national reputation in pharmacy education and is well known for her workshops and presentations on health literacy and cultural competence. Her research interests include health literacy, health communication, health disparities in community pharmacy settings and international health. Youmans was recently awarded a National Institutes of Health diversity supplement grant to study access to antiretroviral medication in Malawi, Africa. Related Link: UCSF School of Pharmacy