Department Culture

What a People First Culture Means

Advancing patient-centered experiences. Pioneering research discoveries. Enhancing educational endeavors.

These are the core foundations on which the UW Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is built, and it is what guides us every day.

But the thread that ties together our wide-ranging efforts is people. Whether it is our own employees or those impacted by the work we do, people are at the center of all we do. That means every person – no matter their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, nationality or creed.

Here at DOVS, we strive to be a “people-first culture” that champions diversity, inclusion and respect for others as core tenets. We are committed to building inclusive environments and supportive systems, as well as practicing our stated values to ensure well-being and success for all current and future stakeholders. In conjunction with our DOVS Equity Alliance, we are committed to learning and discovering new ways of putting this work into practice.

Here’s what this means for us, the people we serve, and the systems we build.


  • Continue work in establishing a safe, open, environment of trust for all DOVS stakeholders
  • Increase the hiring and retention from marginalized groups by promoting dedicated personal DOVS member education, incorporating recruitment best practices, and addressing stereotyping and othering
  • Increase professional development, health disparities education, and wellness learning opportunities for DOVS members and affiliate communities here and abroad
  • Bolster departmental mentoring programs with attention to adopting new models of support


  • Broaden communication bridges for all stakeholders
  • Provide comfortable, thoughtful, proximal space for patients, faculty, staff and learners that promotes efficiency, communication and collaboration
  • Actively participate and amplify programs of health equity and inclusion that further connect DOVS with marginalized individuals and groups
  • Increase development/philanthropic activities for research, education and clinical trial needs


  • Invest in collaborative faculty/learner global exchange opportunities
  • Utilize different technologies and reimagine processes to provide efficiencies in education, research and patient care
  • Upgrade and optimize communication processes with task automation and other novel methods
  • Enact environmentally sustainable efforts across all operational areas
  • Implement advancement and communication workshops/ training opportunities that focus on development, finances, branding and awareness tools to enhance our philanthropy