Diversity & Inclusion MattersAugust 10, 2016

Summer 2016

Vice Dean's Message

Members of the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing team.

Welcome to the third installment of the Feinberg Office of Diversity and Inclusion newsletter. We’ve just completed our first year of work towards our aspiration to enrich the culture of Feinberg by enhancing diversity and inclusiveness. This edition of the newsletter is a testament to what all of us, engaged in this mission, have accomplished at Feinberg.

As we move into our second year, we do so with an even stronger resolve. When these efforts were “rebooted” in 2015, we found an environment ready for change and a constituency eager to make a difference. Please accept our warmest thanks to so many for helping to make change happen. We are a better community when we acknowledge our unique gifts, accept our cultural differences and respect our many varied points of view. As a leading academic medical center in science, innovation and clinical medicine, we now take the path towards leadership in diversity and inclusion. Last week, in response to a number of troubling national and international events, a town hall meeting was held to provide members of the Feinberg community with an opportunity to share opinions, feelings, and concerns. 

Click here to view highlights from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Graduation Brunch. Let us know what you think about our newsletters and visit our website — we invite your feedback. Please also join our Diversity and Inclusion listserv.  Have a wonderful rest of the summer and a great fall!

Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc, Vice Dean, Diversity and Inclusion

Perspectives on Diversity

Guest Column: Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing

In recent years, sexual and gender minority (SGM) issues have gained more attention in the national discourse, yet mainstream society is only beginning to become aware of the deep inequities that exist for SGM populations. Sexual and gender minorities include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people – anyone whose sexual or gender identity does not conform to social majority categories of sexual orientation or gender. At no time in history has the need for coordinated and robust research to elucidate SGM inequities and health disparities been more imperative or poised to have more of an impact.

Health disparities among sexual and gender minority people are severe and disproportionally affect their life expectancy, mental and physical health, access to and quality of care, and overall quality of life. Critical disparities are found in risk and incidence of mental health issues including suicide, substance abuse, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and are linked to minority status, stigma, discrimination and denial of human and civil rights. As is the case among other minorities experiencing disparities, these disparities are not born equally among all SGM people: transgender people, SGM people of color and low-income people bear a disproportionate burden of these disparities. 

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Related Links

Read about three IMPACT-centered programs

Diversity and Inclusion Glossary

Gender Spectrum perceives gender as having many options; it is a linear model, ranging from 100 percent man to 100 percent woman, with various states of androgyny in between. 

Source: Boundless. “Gender as a Spectrum and Transgender Identities.” Boundless Psychology. Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 22 Jun. 2016.

View the full glossary of terms here. »

Spring Lyceum Series Speaker

Spring Lyceum Speaker John Rich, MD, professor, Drexel University School of Public Health, talks with faculty members Peter Sporn, MD, and Clyde Yancy, MD, prior to presenting Wrong Place Wrong Time: Seeing Violence Through the Lens of Trauma.

Danielle McKinnie, the aunt of Jordan Davis, the young man killed at a Jacksonville gas station over loud music, attended Rich’s lecture and joined him along with members of the Department of Medicine, Diversity and Cultural Affairs Council for a lunch conversation. McKinnie, who is employed by the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, shared her thoughts regarding the importance of Rich’s message and the need for all of us to be actively engaged in diversity and inclusion initiatives. Following are excerpts from Ms. McKinnie’s reflection:

When Trayvon Martin was killed, I was very empathetic, but never thought it would happen to my family. Then on Black Friday 2012, I got the call that Jordan was shot and killed (by Michael Dunn, a middle aged white man), while listening to loud music in a car with three friends. The night before, I talked to my older sister, Lucy McBath, Jordan’s mother (from Atlanta) who was visiting Joliet, IL, for Thanksgiving. We talked about Jordan's plans after high school, and she mentioned that Jordan didn't want to come to Joliet this Thanksgiving. I never figured the following day, I would hear such tragic news...

I appreciate that Dr. Rich addressed biases (often brought on by the media) that cause differential treatment of patients and people in general. His video case studies allowed us to see ourselves through the eyes of the victims. Dr. Rich mentioned that victims of violence often suffer PTSD, but it often isn't documented and treated as such. My family is moving forward by continuing to fight for sensible gun laws and supporting lawmakers that support the same. Lucy McBath is the national spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. There are two movies related to Jordan's story: 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets (2015) and The Armor of Light (2015). My family appreciates the work that Dr. Rich is doing with the Healing Hurt People Program. Dr. Rich's presentation was very enlightening and it was an honor to meet him.

Honors and Awards

Virginia Bishop

Virginia Bishop, MD, MPH, ’89 GME, assistant professor of Preventive Medicine in the Division of Behavioral Medicine, assistant director of Diversity and Inclusion, Latino Affairs and Community Engagement, has been appointed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to the governing board of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS).

Joseph Graves

Joseph Graves, MD, ’16 GME, former co-chief resident in Radiology and 2016 recipient of the John Franklin Commitment to Diversity award, poses with Joshua Goldstein, MD, ’02 GME, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, and John Franklin, MD, MSc, MA, associate dean for Minority and Cultural Affairs. Graves was recognized for his leadership and dedication to improving underrepresented minority diversity and mentorship at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. He credits the Residency Showcase with fueling his interest in Northwestern Medicine. Graves began a fellowship in emergency and trauma imaging at Emory University in July.

Lisette Rodriguez-Cabezas

Lisette Rodriguez-Cabezas, MD, a fourth year psychiatry resident at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and first year fellow in Women’s Mental Health, is the recipient of the nationally recognized APA/SAMHSA (American Psychiatric Association/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Minority Fellowship Award. This prestigious monetary award is given annually to a select few who demonstrate commitment to underserved and/or minority populations. The award funds can be utilized for a broad range of projects including research, books and materials that teach about cultural competency, and speakers to give grand rounds about topics related to evidence-based care. Awardees are seen as leaders in the field and can be expected to teach other residents and mental healthcare workers how to provide evidence-based culturally-sensitive support. The award also allows residents and fellows to learn how the APA works as they sit on councils and learn to build the professional network they will need to develop their careers and continue to be leaders in the field.

"To me, this award means I can develop a research project for one of the most marginalized, least studied populations in psychiatry - pregnant minority women," said Rodriguez-Cabezas. "Pregnant women are largely understudied due to fears of potential harm to the fetus. Without research, we cannot provide information on the risks and benefits of treatments in order to give them the autonomy to make an informed decision."

Featured Program

Women’s Health Research Institute

The Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI), directed by Teresa K. Woodruff, PhD, works tirelessly to improve women’s health beyond the reproductive system, striving to increase knowledge of sex differences across all disciplines. In Dr. Woodruff’s words, “. . . This requires that all research studies – basic science, translational and clinical – are designed to include sex and gender variables where the results are analyzed and reported by sex.”

WHRI’s scope of services and information are wide ranging. Some of the programs sponsored by the Institute include: monthly research forums, Women in Science Journal Club Luncheon Discussion Series, community education platforms, Oncofertility, the Illinois Women’s Health Registry and the Women’s Health Science Program.

WHRI members Kenzie Cameron, PhD, ’08 MPH, research associate professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, and Diane B. Wayne, ’91 MD, vice dean for Education, Dr. John Sherman Appleman Professor of Medical Education and of Medicine, are recipients of the 2016 Mentor of the Year awards.

Pathway to Medicine

Daniela P. Ladner, MD, MPH

My mother, an English-speaking Catholic, grew up in Southern India. She followed her sister to Switzerland when she was 20 and while working for an American company, met my dad and become a stay-at-home mom. My mom remains the most energetic, passionate and powerful person I have encountered — a woman whose mindset did not allow for anything to be impossible. My dad grew up in the Swiss Alps and as an adult moved to the big city (Zurich) and worked for IBM – the Google equivalent of that time. He started in sales, worked his way up the proverbial ladder, then retired and studied psychology, a lifelong interest of his. He is the steady rock to my mother’s quicksilver, equally passionate about life and a firm believer in unlimited opportunities and personal independence. This dichotomy of cultural backgrounds and personalities allowed me to be raised in a household free of most societal boundaries that either culture (Swiss or Indian), traditionally impose. I was raised with an emphasis on education and the firm parental doctrine that there was nothing I could not achieve if I worked hard enough.

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Pathway to Feinberg

Diane B. Wayne, MD

“I was born on Friday the 13th in a snowstorm, but have always considered myself a lucky person." This was the first sentence of my college application essay, and it still holds true today.

As a senior in high school, my mother and I toured many college campuses together. It was a wonderful weekend bonding experience that I treasure to this day. We visited illustrious universities on the East and West coasts, and while all were terrific, it was hard to identify the one that was a perfect fit. Along the way we visited Northwestern, as I had been invited to interview for the Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME), affectionately known at the time as "Six Year Med." After touring the beautiful Evanston campus on an unusually warm January day, I spent the afternoon on the Chicago campus. I interviewed with friendly, accomplished faculty members and then reunited with a current medical student who was from my hometown. Something clicked as I walked around the hospital with her. I loved the energy of the busy urban environment and felt a palpable excitement while speaking with other students. After finding out I had been accepted, it was an easy decision to choose Northwestern for my undergraduate and medical school education.

When I was asked to write this essay I thought, “what can I say about the past 30+ years?” Anyone who knows me knows I have a lot of purple pride. Northwestern is an amazing institution and I am grateful and lucky to have experienced a myriad of opportunities at Feinberg. Medical school was a difficult but also amazing journey. I began medical school as a young and inexperienced student with no patient care experience and entered internship in 1991 feeling prepared and eager for a career filled with new challenges.

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Office of Institute and Diversity Resources

A Diverse Education

Clyde Yancy, MD, Vice Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, explains how Feinberg strives to attract the best students and provide a medical education that fully embraces the challenges and benefits of cultural responsiveness in the classroom and the clinical setting.

A Diverse Class

Feinberg students are unique individuals from diverse backgrounds, who have taken different paths towards a career in medicine but are working towards a common goal. Meet Javier Suarez, Tatiana Carrasquilla and Martin Mutonga.

A Diverse Experience

Fourth-year medical student Michael Mbagwu reflects on his education at Feinberg. 

Join FSM-ODI Listserv

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion invites you to join the FSM ODI listserv. Opt in online

We use the listserv to share diversity and inclusion happenings, issues and opportunities.

Diversity and Inclusion Around Campus

Sex and Gender Specific Health (SGSH) Curriculum Project

The goal of the program is to integrate sex- and gender-based evidence into existing curriculum. All faculty members at Northwestern have access to the online products and you can use the attached “How-to-Guide” and access code (Faculty Access Code: zrFDN7aQ9Kk7vQ11QjY6) to create an individual account. When faculty create an account and register their course(s) on the SGSH website, they will receive a unique student access code. Instructors must provide students and/or housestaff with this access code in order to complete registration. You can learn more about SGSH’s Curriculum Project here.

If you run into any difficulties with registration or would like additional information about SGSH and its offerings, you may reach out to Linda Gilmore, Program Administrator at linda.gilmore@ttuhsc.edu or 806-743-7645.

Embracing Diversity and Fostering Inclusion at Northwestern 
This document lists offices and units on the Evanston and Chicago campuses that work to ensure a diverse and equitable environment for our students, staff and faculty.

Provost Grants for Innovation in Diversity and Equity

Provost Award for Faculty Excellence in Diversity and Equity

Have an idea for the newsletter or a comment on this issue? Would you like your research to be featured? Are you an alumnus who would like to share your experience?

Contact Teresa Mastin at teresa.mastin@northwestern.edu.