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5 U-M schools will hire for racial justice in healthcare focus

A healthcare professional in scrubs looking at screens

Friday, 09/03/2021

Five schools at the University of Michigan are hiring faculty to focus on “Racial Justice in Healthcare: Informatics and Data-Driven Approaches.

This cluster hire will use informatics and data science methods to detect, understand and reduce structural racism within healthcare, and racial healthcare disparities.


The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed attention to health disparities long experienced by African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander populations in the United States. Underlying this are racial disparities in healthcare. Racialized groups experience discrimination in health care, as well as lower-quality healthcare across a range of indications. Racial residential segregation is also linked to unfair geographic distribution of healthcare resources. Institutional racism is also present in healthcare practices and technologies. For example, racial “adjustment” may alter diagnostic algorithms or clinical practice guidelines based on patient race, resulting in the direction of more healthcare resources to white patients. Devices and algorithms used in healthcare may also be racially biased.

Five themes, selected to address multiple levels of racism, unite this University of Michigan cluster hire: 

Theme 1: Racial bias and unintended racist consequences in data, algorithms, and technologies that enable healthcare;

Theme 2: The intersection of racial residential segregation with healthcare access, quality, safety, and health outcomes;

Theme 3: Data-driven, anti-racist, health policy analysis regarding racial disparities in health insurance, healthcare access, quality, and safety;

Theme 4: Healthcare provider education and point-of-care informatics interventions to reduce providers’ implicit racial biases and enhance their structural competence; and

Theme 5: Community-driven, technology-enabled models of healthcare delivery that address racism as a social determinant of health and empower racialized communities in service/intervention design.


Faculty will be hired in five units. There will be additional support for cross-school collaborations within the cluster, which is part of a university-wide faculty hiring initiative in anti-racism. Over the next three years, the university will hire at least 20 faculty members with scholarly expertise in racial inequality and structural racism. All successful candidates will have expertise in anti-racist research methods, interdisciplinary scholarship experience, and a commitment to translating research into practice.

The College of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy-based position is an Assistant/Associate Professor in Anti-racist Health Services Research and Pharmacy Informatics. The successful candidate will lead a funded research program on achieving racial equity in medication outcomes (Themes 2, 3 and/or 5). The faculty member will join a transdisciplinary group of health services across the campus as well as pharmacy informatics researchers (PING). The PING team is composed of pharmacist-scientists who have expertise across the informatics continuum, including data-driven analytics, software, and technology development, data infrastructure, pharmacy practice, and implementation science. The successful candidate has a PharmD or PhD in an area such as health services research, pharmacy informatics, or a related field. Candidates should have a strong interest in teaching in our professional, graduate and undergraduate programs, and a commitment to cultural diversity and interdisciplinary research. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with review of applications to begin on Sept. 1, 2021.


The Medical School, Department of Learning Health Sciences-based position is an Assistant Professor/Associate Professor/Professor of Learning Health Sciences whose work addresses Anti-racist Health Infrastructures and Implementation. The successful candidate will focus on Themes 1, 4 and/or 5. The successful applicant has a PhD in a field such as Health Informatics, Public Health, Health Infrastructures, or an MD degree with supplemental relevant training. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with review of applications to begin on Oct. 15, 2021.


The School of Information-based position is an Assistant/Associate Professor in Anti-racist Health Informatics/Data Science, emphasizing Themes 1, 4 and/or 5. The successful candidate will have demonstrated expertise in the health domain and informatics or data science, including a PhD in health or biomedical informatics, computer science, information science or a related field. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with review of applications to begin on Dec. 1, 2021


The School of Nursing, Department of Systems, Population and Leadership based position is an Associate Professor or Professor focused on Anti-racist Healthcare Interventions (Themes 3, 4 and/or 5). Successful candidates will have demonstrated funding and expertise in anti-racist and social justice based methods, have a desire to work in racial health disparities, and can be from any discipline. Demonstrated expertise in multi-disciplinary teams and inter-professional education is desired. Preference will be given to faculty who conduct research in technology-based healthcare interventions for preventing/managing chronic disease. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with review of applications to begin immediately.


School of Public Health, Department of Health Management and Policy will conduct an open-rank search focused on Anti-racist Health Policy Analysis/Health Services Research, with a connection to any cluster theme, but particularly 1, 2 and/or 3. The successful candidate will have demonstrated expertise in anti-racism and racial disparities in healthcare, and has potential for or experience with publication and research funding, for collaborative and interdisciplinary initiatives, and for working with students from diverse backgrounds.. The successful candidate will have a completed Ph.D. in public health, health services, policy analysis, relevant social sciences (health economics, political science, sociology), or related fields. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with review of applications to begin on Dec. 1, 2021.