Kim Ward has been recognized for her significant contributions to structural change within Michigan Medicine. The University of Michigan Medical School Student Diversity Council has awarded her the 2022 Dr. Arno Kumagai Award for Leaders Who Strive for Institutional Change.
The award is given annually to those who have “demonstrated significant effort in developing and/or implementing DEIAJ programs and initiatives, conducting relevant research, and amplifying institutional opportunities to create a more inclusive, equitable, and/or just educational environment at the institutional, local, regional or national level.”
Ward joined the Department of Anesthesiology in 2021 as its first administrative specialist for diversity, equity, and inclusion and DEI lead. In this role, she collaborates across the department to implement DEI initiatives. She has been instrumental in relaunching the department’s DEI committee — which aspires to create a collaborative community through mentorship, education, advocacy, and research — and has organized programming for various department groups focused on DEI, wellness, and professional development.
Her work also looks toward the future of diversity within medicine and the field of anesthesiology. She is a strategic partner of RADAR — Raising Anesthesiology Diversity & Anti-Racism — working with Matt Wixson, M.D., to increase the number of anesthesiologists from underrepresented and marginalized groups. She also partners with various university and community organizations to launch K-12 outreach initiatives that encourage interest in careers in medicine.
Ward previously served as the DEI administrative project coordinator in the Michigan Medicine Office for Health Equity and Inclusion. She is the project coordinator for the Michigan Medicine Anti-Racism Oversight Committee-Opportunities for Conversation Subcommittee, which creates training and instructional materials, fosters community through various identity groups for faculty, staff, and learners to have safe spaces for communication, and provides opportunities to enhance the culture of conversation around race. She also managed DEI events for faculty and recruitment and worked to help learners reach their DEI and educational goals, developing programming, mentoring, and leadership activities for student identity groups and residents.