Skill Development Series

Empowering Success Through Opportunity

WiHMS aims to develop leaders through learning experiences, mentoring and training that ensures they earn equal opportunities. The 2018-19 Skill Development Sessions address results and priorities of the 2017 Building on the Climate Survey and women, faculty and staff Town Halls. The 2018-19 Skill Building series of events focuses on addressing the needs of UHealth employees to achieve better professional equity. CME Credit is available for every session.

Upcoming Skill Development Sessions

Please continue to check back for upcoming sessions.


A False Dichotomy: Hiring the "Best Candidate" vs. "Achieving Diversity"

(This event has been postponed due to guidance in regard to COVID-19.)

Date: TBA 
Time: 12-4:00pm
Location: Primary Children Hospital (PCH) Eccles Outpatient Building - Kings Peak

Discussion led by: Leslie R. Halpern, MD, DDS, MPH, PhD
Professor and Section Head of Maxillofacial Surgery
Co-Director of Women in Health, Medicine and Science (WiHMS)
School of Dentistry


  • 12:00 - 1:00 pm - Lunch and Networking
  • 1:00 - 1:30 pm - Introduction to Joint meeting and collaborative work going forward
  • 1:30 - 2:15 pm - Keynote Presentation:  Dr. Mary Anne Villareal, U of U Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • 2:15 - 3:00 pm - Panel Discussion – Dr. Jose Rodriguez & Dr. Rena D’Souza and two other panelists from IHC
  • 3:00 - 3:45 pm – Break-out session
  • 3:45 - 4:00 pm - Wrap-up and Conclusions

Past Skill Development Sessions

Bystander Training for Clinicians on Intimate Partner Violence

Date: April 29, 2019
Time: 12-1:00pm
Location: Lecture Hall, University of Utah School of Dentistry, 530 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Discussion led by: Leslie R. Halpern, MD, DDS, MPH, PhD
Professor and Section Head of Maxillofacial Surgery
Co-Director of Women in Health, Medicine and Science (WiHMS)
School of Dentistry


  • Examine the prevalence and impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) particularly as it relates to oral health
  • Assess the importance of the oral healthcare provider in identifying and improving outcomes for victims of IPV
  • Review the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV), the role of the oral healthcare provider in identifying victims of IPV and related diagnostic tools
  • Utilize a noninvasive method for characterizing risk predictors of stress and their impact on oral and overall health
  • Explore opportunities to integrate IPV-related education and diagnostic tools into dental curricula



Calling Out Inappropriate Patient Behavior

Date: March 28, 2019
Time: 12-1:00pm
Location: HSEB 5100B

Discussion led by: Amy N. Cowan, MD, MS
Department of Internal Medicine
School of Medicine

This discussion featured Dr. Cowan's article "Inappropriate Behavior by Patients and Their Families - Call it Out".

Dr. Amy Cowan completed medical school at the University of Hawaii in 2006. She completed internal medicine residency in Portland, Oregon at Legacy Health and then a fellowship in geriatrics at the University of Utah. Her clinical practice is as a hospitalist at the VA. Amy frequently tells people she has her "dream job" working with doctors in training and taking care of veterans. She is also involved as physician champion and facilitator for the Schwarz Compassion Rounds at the VA. These rounds foster community by providing a safe space for staff to discuss the emotional aspect of our work in healthcare, particularly when there is a difficult case or sensitive topic, without the pressure of having to problem solve. When she's not working she's climbing rocks or lifting weights to get stronger for the rocks.



Staff Professional Advancement Panel

Date: January 24, 2019
Time: 11:30am-1:00pm
Location: HSEB 1730

Discussion led by:


Senior Director, University of Utah Human Resources Management
Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

Barbara Saffel

Academic Program Manager
EDU Programs Team Lead
Biomedical Informatics
School of Medicine

This discussion panel reviewed professional advancement policies and recommendations. Rick Smith shared his insight from a Human Resources perspective and Barbara Saffel shared her experiences as a staff member that has navigated the advancement processes over a twenty year span with University of Utah Health Sciences.

Difficult Conversations with a Supervisor

Date: December 5, 2018
Time: 12-1:00pm
Location: HSEB 3515B

Discussion led by:

Laura Hamilton, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

Human Resources Manager
Human Resources Management

Dori Nottingham

Learning and Development Manager
Human Resources Management

This presentation focused on how to navigate the difficult conversations with a supervisor such as requests for raises, promotions, and differing ideas and opinions. Laura Hamilton and Dori Nottingham's presentation offered suggestions from a mediation perspective to both preserve a professional and friendly relationship between the employee and supervisor. A video of the livestream presentation will be available at a later time.

Implicit Bias: Navigating Gender and Educational Biases Among Colleagues

Date: November 3, 2018
Time: 12-1:00pm
Location: HSEB 1730

Discussion led by:

Mary Ann Berzins, MBA, FCIPD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Assistant Vice President of Workforce Planning for Human Resources

Natalia Torres, PhD

Tristani-Firouzi's Lab, CVRTI

The Office of Health Equity & Inclusion hosted Town Halls in the 2017-18 Academic year in which Staff and Faculty were able to share their needs. Some of the challenges discussed were implicit biases against female colleagues and individuals with different degrees (PhD vs MD, Staff vs Faculty, etc). This session consisted of a discussion between the attendees and both facilitators. No video recording is available.

Resiliency @ the U: Balancing Work and Life for Staff and Faculty

Date: October 15, 2018
Time: 12-1:00pm
Location: HSEB 1750

Discussion led by:

Rob Davies, PhD

Licensed Psychologist
GME Wellness Director

Megan Call, PhD

Associate Director
Resiliency Center

In partnership with the Resiliency Center and GME Wellness, Dr. Rob Davies and Dr. Megan Call offered staff and faculty ways to balance multiple schedules and personal lives, understanding the right time and need for self-care and much more. This workshop consisted of discussions and a worksheet in which each attendee organized their personal values from work, finances, family, professional goals, etc. A video of the livestream presentation will be available at a later time.

Yoshimi Anzai, MD, MPH

Leslie R. Halpern, DDS, MD, PhD, FACS

Women in Health, Medicine & Science Co-Directors

Upcoming Events

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Contact Us

Phone: 801-585-0846


Office of the Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion
26 South 2000 East
5750B HSEB
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112