UW News

August 6, 2009

David Acosta honored for leadership in multicultural education

Dr. David Acosta, UW School of Medicine associate dean of multicultural affairs, has been named the 2009 Multicultural Excellence Award recipient by the Washington State Association for Multicultural Education’s (WSAME) for his leadership and commitment to multicultural education.

The award will be presented during the association’s annual conference on Saturday, Oct. 24, in the concert hall of North Seattle Community College.

In its commendation, the association said: “It is our belief that your work with the physicians and health care workers of today and tomorrow goes a long way toward insuring that cultural competence will be a critical component of the overall efforts toward multicultural/diversity education.”

Acosta, clinical associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine, was appointed assistant dean for multicultural affairs at the UW School of Medicine in 2003 and associate dean in 2004. In that role, he guides the medical school’s efforts to encourage underrepresented students to train for medical careers. Multicultural Affairs has a number of programs to prepare and support students at all stages of becoming physicians, from high school through college, pre-admission, medical school and residency choice.

Acosta is the principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health K07 Academic Award grant to develop and implement a cultural competency curriculum for medical students and residents. With this grant, the School of Medicine has developed a new Center for Cultural Proficiency in Medical Education, which will be the school’s cross-cultural resource center. Acosta is also the principal investigator for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant that provides funding for a six-week summer enrichment program for pre-medical and pre-dental students from minority and/or disadvantaged backgrounds called the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program. Acosta plays an active role in admissions at the UW School of Medicine and is responsible for enhancing diversity within the educational environment.

Acosta received his medical degree from the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine. Prior to joining the UW School of Medicine, Acosta spent many years providing health care and education to underserved rural and migrant farmworker populations.