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Sinkfield named Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Jul. 6, 2021, 9:52 AM

Kristy Sinkfield, MEd

Kristy Sinkfield, MEd, director of Strategy Development for the Office of Strategy and Innovation, and a 17-year veteran of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been named Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion for the Office of Diversity Affairs.

Sinkfield will advance efforts to increase the diversity of VUMC staff and promote a climate of inclusivity and belonging. She will report to Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI, Senior Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence.

Sinkfield’s connection to Vanderbilt began in the late 1970s through her mother, Kathryn Roberson Russell, who was a vascular technician in Radiology for 23 years. Today, Sinkfield works to advance racial equity where her mother was never promoted despite expertise and years of service.

In the late 1980s Sinkfield was a trainer in the VUMC Department of Information Management and taught physicians to use the order entry system. She worked in Ohio with a court appointed mediator in a desegregation case against the Dayton, Ohio, school system, and served as Vice President of Enrollment Management at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina, before she returned to VUMC in 2004 to lead the Behavioral Sciences team of the Institutional Review Board.

In 2007, Sinkfield accepted the role of director of Strategy Development for the Office of Strategy and Innovation, where she led her team in identifying and implementing enterprise-wide initiatives.

“My years of experience in the academy, the community, and in this health system has prepared me for this new role. I know how important it is to lead through service, listen with the intent to learn and build relationships, and to take conflicting, disparate ways of engaging and find common grounds for common good,” Sinkfield said.

In addition to her career, Sinkfield maintains strong ties to the community in her roles a board member, leader of social action and civic organizations, and as a faith community leader and teacher.

“I’m delighted to have Kristy as the newest member of our diversity and inclusion leadership team. She brings a wealth of talent and experience as a strategic change agent, which is just what we need to achieve our goal of making diversity and inclusion intentional,” Wilkins said.

One of her first areas of focus will be to work with Wilkins to create a comprehensive equity plan in response to the recently released recommendations of the Racial Equity Task Force.

Sinkfield is the recipient of several awards including the 2020 VUMC Five Pillar Leader Award. She earned a BS in public administration from Lipscomb University, and an MEd from Cambridge College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sinkfield said she is “encouraged by VUMC’s commitment to fight for racial justice by creating this new role. I will work closely with my colleagues and community partners to help build a racially equitable and inclusive community at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.”

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