Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

The Office for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (ODEI) at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center works across the Cancer Center’s Consortium to build and support an inclusive environment of belonging that engages all members of our community from entry into the biomedical research pathway to academic promotion, retention, and leadership.

Our collaborative work fosters lifelong learning, supports best practices, and forges a path toward equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. Our work is guided by the cross-Consortium’s Belonging-Justice, Equity, and Inclusion (B-JEDI) Committee and is led by SKCC’s inaugural Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, MACP, FRCP (London), professor of medical oncology. 

Our commitment to health equity, inclusion, and fostering a climate of belonging is for the benefit of our patients, our academic and research community, and the communities we serve. We will all benefit, and we are all responsible.

Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, MACP, FRCP (London)
Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Mission

The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) of Thomas Jefferson University affirms that a diverse and inclusive environment is fundamental to our mission of improving the lives of cancer patients and their families through compassion, innovation, and breakthrough discoveries.

SKCC’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Mission Statement supports and aligns with Thomas Jefferson University’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement Blueprint for action and Drexel University’s Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusive Culture’s values.

We similarly define:

  • Equity - choosing to provide fairness in the way people are treated when seeking healthcare services, employment, development, and community engagement.
  • Diversity – the richness of human similarities and differences that make up One Jefferson Family.
  • Inclusion – the ability to provide outstanding health care to all people and all communities while giving everyone voice and the opportunity to be valued, respected, and supported by fostering a sense of belonging
SKCC will achieve this mission through:

Respectful engagement, active partnership, and ongoing advocacy with the constituencies and communities served

Transformational leadership, policy development, and implementation to support new ideas, voices, and concerns

The following strategic priorities will form the primary focus areas:


  • Develop and promote a robust workforce—representative of diverse identities—through education and training
  • Enhance educational programs that promote cultural respect and understanding, reduce bias, and empower community advocacy among SKCC healthcare professionals and staff

Clinical Care

  • Promote respect for all personal identities including but not limited to race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, education level, nation of origin, language, culture, religion, abilities, and disabilities
  • Ensure equitable access to care for those with barriers to care including, but not limited to, language, insurance/financial, literacy, cultural, transportation and any other social determinants of health and illness
  • Improve outcomes for underserved and marginalized populations


  • Facilitate recruitment of clinical trial participants that represent the demographics of the catchment area
  • Prioritize research initiatives that benefit public health and diverse communities’ interests

Community Partnership

  • Partner with the communities served to provide patient-centered, community-focused clinical, educational, and research opportunities across the center’s catchment area in an equitable and tailored manner.

SKCC’s Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee is open to all SKCC community members (students, trainees, staff, faculty, and community partners) and welcomes interprofessional, interdepartmental, and interinstitutional collaborations.