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Ingrid Ellerbe to lead Stanford Biodesign health technology diversity initiative

The veteran executive brings three decades of experience leading diversity, equity and inclusion programs in education and technology.

- By Stacey McCutcheon

Ingrid Ellerbe

Education advocate Ingrid Ellerbe will be the first executive director of Diversity by Doing Healthtech (DxD), an initiative led by Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign and Fogarty Innovation.

Ellerbe, who has spent the last 30 years helping members of underserved communities succeed in technology and education, came out of retirement to take the part-time position. “It was an opportunity to continue the work I had been doing in a more focused way,” she said. “And frankly, the ‘doing’ part of Diversity by Doing was very appealing.”

The goal of DxD is to raise awareness of inequity in health technology and to create a more inclusive environment. DxD programs include virtual speed mentoring events for women and a summer seminar that encourages small and mid-size health technology companies to hire college interns from underrepresented groups. DxD is also launching a research project on board diversity.

“In three years, DxD has grown from a handful of participants into a vibrant volunteer organization that develops diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for people across the health technology innovation spectrum, from student interns to board members,” said Paul Yock, MD, the Martha Meier Weiland Professor in the School of Medicine, founder of Stanford Biodesign and a co-founder of DxD. “There’s a tremendous appetite for meaningful ways to get involved in improving diversity in our ecosystem, and we’re delighted to have Ingrid on board to lead the way.”

Recently, Ellerbe spent five years as the executive director of Base 11, a nonprofit workforce and entrepreneur development company that helps women and minority college students succeed in science, technology, engineering and math. While Ellerbe is resolute in her belief in the power of STEM to change lives for women and minorities, she believes the health technology ecosystem has just as much to gain from increased diversity.

“Health care innovation can reach its greatest potential when the people involved — from entry level all the way up to leadership — look like the people they serve,” she said. “That means not only attracting diverse talent, but learning to appreciate the different backgrounds, cultures and ideas that are brought to the table.”

The Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign is a training program for health technology innovators. Fogarty Innovation is a nonprofit educational incubator that helps inventors bring promising product or service ideas to patient care.

Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at http://mednews.stanford.edu.

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