Stephan Davis to Receive National Award for Teaching Excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Social Justice

Stephan Davis, DNP, MHSA, FACHE, FAAN, has been selected to receive the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) Teaching Excellence Award for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging (DEIB), and Social Justice, sponsored by the Better Together Executive Healthcare Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collaborative.

Stephan Davis in the executive conference room on the 8th floor of the College of Health ProfessionsDavis serves as interim associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the VCU College of Health Professions and the VCU School of Nursing, as well as the inaugural executive director of inclusive leadership education and an assistant professor in the VCU Department of Health Administration.

“On behalf of the VCU Department of Health Administration, I am proud to congratulate Dr. Davis on this well-earned national honor”, said Paula Song, Ph.D., Richard M. Bracken chair and professor of health administration. “When we recruited Stephan, it was due in part to his nationally-visible work in the DEIB space, which he has only continued to expand during his time at VCU. I look forward to his continued contributions to diversifying health administration, both at VCU and nationally.”

Members of the Collaborative, formed in 2016, include the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), which also represents the ACHE Asian Healthcare Leaders Community and ACHE’s LGBTQ+ Healthcare Leaders Community; the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE); the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE); the National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives (NALHE); and AUPHA.

To receive the AUPHA Teaching Excellence award in DEIB and Social Justice, recipients must have five years or more of teaching experience in healthcare management and an established record of contributions to AUPHA related to DEIB. Letters of support must also be received from the nominee’s department chair or dean, a faculty colleague, and a former student within five years of graduation.

Davis first began teaching in healthcare management programs in 2014, when he joined the City University of New York, New York Institute of Technology, as an adjunct instructor within their health services administration bachelor’s program. In 2017, he joined the faculty of Georgia State University, teaching courses in healthcare leadership and policy in their College of Nursing and Health Professions. In 2020, Davis participated as an invited conferee at the Macy Foundation conference on Addressing Harmful Bias and Eliminating Discrimination in Health Professions Learning Environments, which resulted in a report of recommendations to advance DEIB in health professions andragogy. That same year, Davis transitioned to the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center, School of Public Health, where he served as director of the MHA program, assistant professor of health administration, and chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Within one year of being at UNT, Davis launched the Executives in Residence program, featuring eight prominent diverse thought leaders, including Jennifer Brown, author of “How to Be an Inclusive Leader.” During this time, he also wrote the script for and recorded a video-based simulation on patient racial bias and discrimination in healthcare settings, which was presented through a refereed process at the AUPHA Annual Meeting in 2021. That year, he also led the design and served as the primary faculty facilitator of the Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health (ASPPH) Student Leadership Institute, which was focused on preparing students from across the nation to be more inclusive and authentic in their leadership approach. In addition, he began providing national webinars that were focused on investing in students and early careerists from historically underrepresented and excluded backgrounds. The first of these webinars, offered in the height of the pandemic, entitled “Thriving as a Black Leader” attracted more than 1,000 registrants. He has continued offering national webinars during his time at VCU, and most recently, he has partnered with NAHSE to further the reach of these educational offerings.

Since joining VCU, Davis also led the first-ever national survey of healthcare management faculty in collaboration with AUPHA to assess educator and academic leader perspectives and practices related to DEIB. The preliminary results of this assessment were presented at the AUPHA Annual Meeting in June of 2022. At the end of 2022, he collaborated with colleagues at The Ohio State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Saint Louis University, and Rush University to administer a survey to recent Master of Health Administration (MHA) program graduates to obtain their perspectives on alumni engagement related to DEIB. The results of this survey will be published in a forthcoming manuscript and presented at the AUPHA 2023 Annual Meeting.

Davis has also served in key leadership roles with member institutions of the Better Together Collaborative. He is a past chair of the ACHE LGBTQ+ Healthcare Leaders Community, and a past Regent-at-Large of ACHE, a role created to foster diversity in the governance of ACHE. Most recently, he has been appointed to the national education committee for NAHSE, the professional society for Black healthcare leaders. Beyond the field of healthcare management, Davis is also a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and was recently appointed by the Academy’s board of directors to serve a two-year term on Academy’s national Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee.

Davis will officially be recognized for receiving this prestigious award at the AUPHA Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland on July 1.  In addition to receiving the award at the Annual Meeting, he will deliver a presentation alongside Song on their continued efforts to advance inclusive excellence in healthcare management andragogy. The annual meeting also will feature VCU President Michael Rao as the invited keynote speaker for the Andrew Pattullo Lecture.

About VCU Department of Health Administration

The VCU Department of Health Administration is a premiere research department geared toward creating the most innovative, compassionate, and business-savvy leaders to reimagine healthcare. With access to the amenities of a large institution in a small and student-centric atmosphere, the Department of Health Administration teaches students the executive and technical skills needed to be well-rounded leaders. 

The department's master's degree program, the residential Master of Health Administration and the online-hybrid Master of Science in Health Administration for experienced professionals, is rated in the top five among its peers in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Also offered is the highly regarded PhD program in Health Services Organization and Research. For more information, visit


AUPHA is a global network of colleges, universities, faculty, individuals, and organizations dedicated to the improvement of healthcare delivery through excellence in healthcare management and policy education. Its mission is to foster excellence and innovation in health management, policy education, and scholarship. It is the only non-profit entity of its kind that works to improve the delivery of health services – and thus the health of citizens – throughout the world by educating professional managers at the entry level. AUPHA’s membership includes the premier baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in health administration in the United States, Canada, and around the world. For more information, please visit

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