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InclusiveVTCSOM Task Force Update

February 2022

Title Slide VTCSOM Inclusive Taskforce: Mile Marker 3 Update: February 2022
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Nice to see everyone today. And as you are now well aware, every quarter for the last nine months or so, the medical school has been keeping track of all of the different initiatives that we've been introducing as a result, of our InclusiveVTCSOM task force recommendations. And so after the quarter ends, and this one ended in December, we spend the next month kind of pulling together all of the information and then around this time as well, we summarize it for you. So we've done this a few times before and I know we have some new folks here today, so we will go through this together and then I'd be happy to answer any questions. So let me go ahead and share.

Oh, I need to have screen-sharing capabilities, please. There we go. Host disabled participants screen-sharing. Okay, host. All right. Thank you, host. Okay. Actually let me switch screens here for a second. Can everyone see the full slide on the screen now? Okay, good. All right. 

This is the progress we made (October -December 2021) to arrive at Mile Marker 3. Dr. LaConte has taken over Phase I implementation, and a few tasks were reassigned after carefully reviewing the recommendations. Background shows a snow-covered path in a snow-covered forest.

So this is mile marker 3

It's our third update. And I want to thank Dani Backus and Dani, if you're there, thank you so much for, for preparing these slides and really getting that together and a wonderful shape for us to have these quarterly reports. You know, some changes have occurred since the last report. Dr. LaConte taken over the Phase 1 curriculum implementation piece. And then a few of the tasks were reassigned from, from one group to another. That's kind of a headline part of this in terms of changes.

Original Road Map for March 21 showing 55 tasks to be completed. Details provided in accordion below.
  • Phase I Curriculum had 1 task due in June 2021, 1 task due in December 2021, and 29 tasks due in June 2022, for a total of 31. 
  • Phase II Curriculum had 5 tasks due in June 2021, 1 task due in September 2021, and 7 tasks due in June 2022, for a total of 13 tasks. 
  • Student Support had completed 2 tasks prior to March 2021, had 3 tasks due in June 2021, 2 tasks due in September 2021, and 2 tasks due after June 2022 for a total of 9 tasks.
  • Community Engagement had 1 task due in June 2021, 4 tasks due in December 2021, 1 task due in March 2022, 3 tasks due in June 2022 and 1 task due after June 2022, for a total of 10 tasks. 
  • Admissions had completed 4 tasks prior to March 2021, had 4 tasks due in June 2021, 2 tasks due in September 2021, 2 tasks due in December 2021, 2 tasks due in March 2022, 1 task due in June 2022, and 8 tasks due after June 2022, for a total of 23 tasks. 
  • Faculty and Staff Recruitment, Development, and Retention had 1 task due in June 2021, 8 tasks due in September 2021, 6 tasks due in December 2021, 3 tasks due in March 2022, and 4 tasks due in June 2022 for a total of 22 tasks.
  • Learning and Work Environment had 1 task due in June 2021, 1 task due in September 2021, 3 tasks due in December 2021, and 3 tasks due in March 2022, and 2 tasks due after June 2022 for a total of 10 tasks. 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion had 3 tasks due in September 2021 and 2 tasks in June 2022, for a total of 5 tasks. 

Overall, 55 tasks were to be completed by the end of December, with an additional 9 tasks due in March 2022, 46 tasks due in June 2022, and 13 tasks due after June 2022. 

And just to take us back to the initial roadmap, we had all of these different parts of the medical school. There are units in the medical school listed on the left with tasks assigned to each one that were completed had been completed over the last almost a year now. And you can see on the right side the total tasks for each unit which are now, they've actually spawned, they're actually reproducing. Now there's a 123, there used to be 122, so now there's one more. And that's the number that we're setting our goal to achieve, hopefully by July 2022, if not sooner. So this is what we expected to happen. We expected that by now, by the end of December, we'd have 45% of our tasks completed. So that was the plan initially.

Results - table with updated numbers. Details provided in the accordion below.
  • Phase I Curriculum completed 1 task by June 2021 and 15 tasks by December 2021
  • Phase II Curriculum completed 6 tasks by June 2021 and had no tasks due for September or December 2021
  • Student Support completed 7 tasks by June 2021 and had no tasks due for September or December 2021
  • Community Engagement completed 1 task by June 2021, 4 tasks by September 2021, and 2 tasks by December 2021
  • Admissions completed 8 tasks by June 2021, 3 tasks by September 2021, and 3 tasks by December 2021
  • Faculty and Staff Recruitment, Development, and Retention completed 1 task by June 2021 and carried over 5 tasks and completed those plus 9 more tasks by September 2021. They completed 2 more tasks by December 2021.
  • Learning and Work Environment completed 1 task by June 2021, 4 tasks by September 2021, and 2 tasks by December 2021
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion completed 1 task by June 2021 and 2 tasks by September 2021 and had no tasks due by December 2021

Overall, 26 tasks were completed by June 2021, 27 tasks by September 2021, and 24 more by December 2021, for a total of 77 tasks completed. 


  • We are three months ahead of schedule completing 77 tasks (63% of the total and exceeding the 55 assigned).
  • Several units completed tasks ahead of schedule.
  • Units that did not have a task assigned during this period continued making progress with upcoming tasks.

Well, I've got good news. We're already at 63%, which is spectacular at the end of our third mile marker, three months ahead of schedule, 77 tasks completed, there were only 55 expected. And as you can see, a lot of the different units have completed their tasks ahead of schedule. And even the ones that haven't been completed, we're hearing about really amazing progress being made.

Implementing InclusiveVTCSOM. Background is an aerial view of Roanoke. Text on the slide is in the accordion below.
  • Taskforce implementation is an ongoing dialog and not one-time tasks that are completed.
  • Units have expressed ongoing commitment to implement recommendations.
  • Committee/unit recommendation reviews has sparked creativity and innovation among members.

I would like to do is in a minute I'm going to go through all of these and highlight what's been going on. And I'll be happy to send the slide deck out after for those that want to read more. So just some reminders of some of the things that we've mentioned along the way that this is an ongoing dialogue. We expect that great ideas will be emerging in these discussions and there may be more initiatives that occur. Some things that we wanted to achieve may get to be reassigned or actually delayed for one reason or another. So this is a living, actively updating kind of initiative that we have. Everyone's been a really committed, everyone's been really creative and innovative. And we really appreciate that. This is the way that we weave this in to our normal everyday interactions in the medical school. 

Updates from each Task Force Group

Phase I Curriculum slide 1 of 2 - described below. full text also in accordion.

PHASE 1 CURRICULUM: Completed on Schedule (15)

LaConte quote: BIC-1 members and I continue to review, discuss and implement the task force recommendations. We appreciate how thorough the taskforce group was in sharing possible approaches. BIC-1 has an ongoing commitment to DEI considerations in all aspects of Phase I curriculum implementation.

  • 1.6 Incorporate readings throughout Phase I to foster student awareness around positionality, reflexivity, and sources of bias in research.
  • 2.1 Offer continued support for content included within the newly implemented longitudinal diversity curriculum nested within the Basic Science domain.
  • 2.2 Incorporate texts and documentaries that illuminate bias, and offer tools for changing the structure that supports it.
  • 2.3 Identify learning objectives for unconscious bias to join research sampling bias lectures (e.g., information, selection, clinical trials).
  • 3.1 Offer continued support for content included within the newly implemented longitudinal diversity curriculum nested within the Basic Science domain.
  • 3.3 Encourage faculty to be mindful of imagery in their lecture sessions, and where appropriate, expand Basic Science content to address diversity.
  • 3.4 Incorporate additional educational opportunities for students to learn about disparities in healthcare.
  • 3.5 Build upon existing opportunities for students to practice administering brief interventions addressing barriers to critical issues such as healthy eating & exercise.

Phase I Curriculum

So let's go first with phase 1, and here's Dr. LaConte. And you can see that they've achieved so much ahead of schedule here. And Dr. LaConte has this little quote she provided: BIC-1 members and I continue to review, discuss, and implement the task force recommendations. We appreciate how thorough the taskforce group was in sharing possible approaches. BIC-1 has an ongoing commitment to DEI considerations in all aspects of phase 1 curriculum implementation. And you can now read through, and this is on multiple slides because there's so many things that have been happening: incorporate readings throughout phase one. Offer continued student support for content that's included in a longitudinal domainin  the basic science curriculum. Incorporate texts and documentaries that eliminate bias and offer tools for changing the structure that supports us. Identify learning opportunities for unconscious bias  offer continued support. Some of those look the same are, but they're a little bit different. Encourage faculty to be mindful of imagery and just a very specific and important and actionable objectives that have been completed. 

Phase I Curriculum slide 1 of 2 - described below. full text also in accordion.
  • 3.6 Update language around sexual history, identity and practices while improving opportunities for students to practice sexual history taking.
  • 3.10 Review syllabus to ensure racial disparities and inequities are being covered in Blocks III, IV, and VIII.
  • 3.12 Incorporate education around disparities and barriers in research & research trials.
  • 4.1 Broaden the diversity of written case patients and wrap-up patients to reflect the United States population, including expansion to other racial and ethnic demographics (e.g. Hispanic, Latinx, Asian, others), gender identities, religions, physical capabilities, and socioeconomic circumstances.
  • 4.7 Promote faculty recruitment practices that fosters diverse and inclusive faculty, which will be reflected in the Research Live! faculty as well as research topics to include social justice topics (i.e. race, gender, sexuality, social determinants of health, etc.).
  • 4.8 Promote faculty recruitment practices for Methods in Logic visiting lecture series to encourage involvement from a diverse and inclusive population and include research on social justice topics (i.e. race, gender, sexuality, social determinants of health, etc.). This change would precipitate a larger pool of research mentors and projects from which students can select. (NOT true)
  • 4.9 Promote faculty recruitment practices to increase the pool of diverse research mentors.

And it continues on here to the next page, updating language that we use, reviewing syllabus materials incorporating education around disparities and barriers in research trials, broaden the diversity of written case reports. My goodness, is just on and on. There's a lot of really important meaningful work that has been accomplished on or ahead of schedule. And so we very much appreciate all of the Phase 1 curriculum leaders who have worked to implement all of these wonderful changes.

Phase II Curriculum update - described below. full text also in accordion.

PHASE 2 CURRICULUM: ongoing commitment on remaining 7 tasks

  • 1.1 Creating an introductory lecture to define and further understanding on race and race-based medicine to be given by the Health Systems Science and Interprofessionalism (HSSIP) Department during 3rd and 4th year clinical orientation. Comment: DEI did an introduction at M3 orientation for AY 2021-22
  • 1.2 Re-visiting and re-emphasizing in ongoing HSSIP lectures and lectures should be interactive. Comment: HSSIP has a new curriculum. The M3 curriculum launches AY 2022, the clinical champions for each clerkship are currently enrolled in faculty development and will control content.
  • 1.3 Providing students pre-lecture reading assignments and sources to further their own knowledge in these subjects. Comment: HSSIP has a new curriculum. The M3 curriculum launches AY 2022, the clinical champions for each clerkship are currently enrolled in faculty development and will control content.
  • 1.4 Providing at least one HSSIP lecture during Phase II curriculum about the impact of pandemics and their impacts vary based on race and socioeconomic classifications, largely due to the longstanding effects of systemic racism. Comment: A Health Equity Systems Session (formerly "Domain Days") is planned by Drs. Bankole and Witcher managing the content, which will not necessarily focus on pandemics.

Phase II Curriculum

Moving to phase 2 with Dr. Criss, that there has been lot accomplished on ongoing commitment to the remaining tasks. And this is the update of the ones that had been completed, an introductory lecture to define and further the understanding on race, race-based medicine aspart of the HSSIP curriculum. And DEI did an introduction for that orientation this year, revisiting and re-emphasizing in ongoing lectures, that they should be interactive and that it's also been addressed. Providing students pre-lecture reading materials, and sources to further their own knowledge on the subject. And that's also part of the new curriculum. Providing at least one HSSIP lecture during phase 2 about the impact on pandemics on different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. And that has been done in in what used to be called domain days. 

Phase II Curriculum update slide 2 of 2 - described below. full text also in accordion.
  • 4.2 Considering the use of student assessment coaches. Comment: Will need time and a speaker for education of Chairs, faculty, residents and will need educational Grand Rounds at the departmental level, and orientation of PGY-1 residents.
  • 4.3 Training instructors, clerkship directors and other assessors in assessment of students. Comment: Will need the same resources as stated in 4.2.
  • 4.4 Enhancing the quality of feedback. Comment: Will need external resources to educate Chairs, faculty, and residents in the academic year of 2021-22 then full implementation in 2022-23.

A lot of great activity in phase 2 to move these important conversations forward. Considering the use of student assessment coaches. To be sure that student assessments are as free of bias as possible. Training instructors and clerkshop directors and other assessors and assessment students toward the same goal and enhancing the quality of feedback, which is just good in general and particularly important as well in this context. So thank you to phase two, in the middle of a pandemic with all of the demands made upon our clinicians and our clinical educators, a lot of great work is happening and DEI, and we really appreciate that we haven't paused any of these efforts during the challenges that we've been having with the pandemic.

Community Engagement update - described below. full text also in accordion.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Completed on Schedule (1 of 1), +1

  • 1.8 Creating a centralized calendar for community engagement activities for the purpose of combining resources.
  • Ahead of schedule
  • 5.1a Establish a more formal system of outreach and advocacy through VTC Engage that focuses on minority and underserved populations to fulfill the Critical Service-Learning Program requirement for medical students

Quote from Dr. Trinkle: "With each discussion, we continue to uncover engagement and educational programming opportunities for both our students and faculty that are ready to be developed, as well as the names of additional organizations to contact going forward.

We have been working with the Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on developing a short film to document the history of racial inequity in the Roanoke area, which now includes a possible collaboration with Roanoke City Council as well as a group out of Richmond. The purpose of the film will be to help incoming students understand the importance of knowing the racial history in their communities and how it might affect their patients."

Community Engagement

Community Engagement is next, and they had one task scheduled and one also completed ahead of schedule. Creating a centralized counter for community engagement activities and establishing a more formal system, an outreach to the new VTC engage program are the two here. And Dr. Trinkle mentions that with each discussion, we continue to uncover engagement and educational programming opportunities for both our students and faculty that are ready to be developed, as well as the names of additional organizations to contact moving forward. And that there have been conversations including the DEI team as well, to develop a short film on the history of racial inequity in the Roanoke area, which is, which may result from a collaboration with Roanoke City Council using some material that was developed in Richmond, which was very, very compelling for those of us who had a chance to take a look at that. And so we really appreciate the more intentional efforts we’re making in the community in this way to kinda be a really good organizational partner for these important civic efforts that are underway. 

Student Support update - described below. full text also in accordion.

STUDENT SUPPORT: ongoing commitment on remaining 2 tasks

  • 1.1 Developing a messaging campaign that reframes seeking help as utilizing resources and support services. Comment: After discussions with all partners, the decision was made to use Riverside 1-Room 208 as the HS&T Center for Inclusion.
  • 1.2 Expanding efforts to integrate a variety of cultural activities and services into student support through a dedicated, on-campus cultural engagement center. Comment: Committee has been identified and is working on plans-Leanna Blevins, Angelica Witcher, Sarah Glenn, Brian Stanford, and Justin Grimes.

Student Support

Student Support has an ongoing commitment to its two remaining tasks here and developing a messaging campaign that reframes seeking help. And then also expanding efforts to integrate a variety of cultural activities. As you can see, some some progress has been made in identifying an HS&T Center for Inclusion at Riverside 1 that will include both graduate students and medical students. They were involved in helping decide to do this collaboratively and in selecting the space. And then you can see the work of Leana Blevins, Jellie Witcher, Sarah Glenn, Brian Stanford and Justin Grimes as well to sort of work on an on-campus Cultural Engagement Center and Students Services. 

Admissions update - described below. full text also in accordion.

ADMISSIONS: Completed on Schedule (2 of 2), +1

  • 3.2 Streamlining a process that ensures prospective URM candidate information is shared between Diversity and Inclusion and Admissions.
  • 6.3 Communicating efforts to increase diversity in the student body, including scholarships and fee waivers, on the Admissions website.

Ahead of schedule:

  • 6.4 Widely distributing electronic and PDF brochures that outline scholarship information and application processes.

Quote from Dr. Prusakowski: "We engaged with faculty, leadership groups, DEI, and Human Resources. They provided input and shared their expertise paving the way forward as we continue working through our tasks ahead."


Admissions has completed tasks on schedule and has added one that's streamlining a process that ensures perspective URM candidate information is shared between DDI, Diversity Inclusion and Admissions, communicating efforts to increase diversity on the website, scholarships, fee waivers, et cetera. And then has ahead of schedule wildly distributing brochures that outline scholarship information in the application process. Dr. Prusakowski says we engaged with faculty, leadership groups, DEI and human resources. They provided input and shared their expertise paving the way forward as we continue working through our tasks ahead.

Faculty and Staff Recruitment, Development, and Retention  update - described below. full text also in accordion.


  • 2.2a Incorporating a diversity, equity, and inclusion module (online?) in faculty orientation.
  • 2.2b Creating an annual diversity and inclusion education requirement for faculty and staff.
  • 2.3 Requiring diversity, equity, and inclusion-related training as a Faculty Maintenance of Appointment requirement.
  • 2.4 Identifying departmental diversity, equity, and inclusion opportunities.
  • 2.5 Creating a Faculty Development webpage with curated and vetted diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.
  • 2.6 Providing development opportunities to address critical topics: Implicit Bias, Microaggressions, Bystander Training, and Mentoring Across Differences.

Ahead of Schedule:

  • 2.7 Utilizing a variety of approaches to deliver diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development content.

Faculty and Staff Recruitment, Development, and Retention

And faculty and staff recruitment, development and retention. Six tasks were completed on schedule and on schedule and one ahead of schedule. Incorporating the DEI module in faculty orientation, creating Annual Diversity Inclusion educational requirement for faculty and staff. Acquiring DE and I related training as a faculty maintenance of appointment requirement, identifying departmental diversity equity inclusion opportunities, creating faculty development webpage with curated embedded DEI resources, and providing development opportunities to address critical topics listed here. Ahead of schedule, utilizing a variety of approaches to deliver D&I professional development content. So, so important that at every level of our organization that we're making sure everyone is benefiting from faculty development and really trying to get on the same page with respect to the important concepts we need to understand and to teach. So thank you very much, Dr. Musick.

Learning and Working Environment update - described below. full text also in accordion.

LEARNING AND WORKING ENVIRONMENT: Completed on Schedule (3 of 3),+ 1

  • 1.1 Clarifying where and how to submit learning environment concerns on the LE website.
  • 1.3 Increasing transparency for report submission, status, and resolution.
  • 3.2 The VTCSOM LEAC will continue its current policies in addressing concerns received by the committee. Comment: The Graduate Medical Education Department at Carilion will assess how to handle concerns received in the residencies and fellowships.

Ahead of schedule:

1.4 Utilizing the LE website to highlight positive learning experiences and recognize faculty.

Learning and Working Environment

Learning and working environment on three tasks completed on schedule and one ahead of schedule, clarifying where and how to submit learning environment concerns on the LE website. Increasing transparency for report submission status and resolution. And the LEAC committee continuing to update its current policies as mentioned here. And then ahead of schedule, using the website to highlight positive learning experiences and recognizing faculty, it's been wonderful to see those communications coming out around. Really appreciating outstanding a role models in addition to more confidentially managing concerns that come up through the learning and working environment. So thank you, Dr. Harrington and the LEAC team for that.

2021 - 2022 Departmental Updates. Details in accordion below.
  • 7/21 to 12/21 -OBGYN, Surgery, Int Med, Peds, Family Medicine
  • 01/17/22-Health Systems and Implementation Science
  • 02/21/22-Dean’s Office Quarterly
  • 03/21/22-Radiology
  • 04/18/22-Dean’s Office Quarterly
  • 05/16/22-OrthopaedicSurgery
  • 06/20/22-Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
  • 07/18/22-Dean’s Office Quarterly
  • 08/15/22-Emergency Medicine

That's what we've been up to in terms of these tasks that came out of the InclusiveVTCSOM taskforce. 

Departmental Updates

What we’ve been doing is we've been offering these quarterly updates to our deans and chairs meetings, but in-between our quarterly updates, we've actually been having the departments and the chairs stepping up to report on what they're doing at a departmental level. So last year we had a bunch of presentations from the departments listed at the top and you can see other departments are scheduled in the early part of 2022 with our quarterly updates intermixed in there. 

2022 - 2023 Departmental Updates. Details in accordion below.

University Priority Two:  Elevate the Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) Difference

Goal Three: Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Across the VTCSOM Community

Three faculty related 5-year milestones

  • Increase URM faculty representation from 9% to 12%
  • Increase female faculty representation from 40% to 45%
  • Increase M4 agreement that “the learning environment fosters a culture that values diversity and inclusion” from 65% to 90%

And then after we're done with these, we're going to do a kind of a second round of presentations in the 2022-23 academic year. And those new presentations will really be more aligned with our depart with our School of Medicine strategic plan. So in our, in our strategic plan, we have a goal 3, which is support diversity, equity, and inclusion across the VTC School of Medicine community. We have a bunch of five-year milestones within that goal 3. I'm highlighting the ones here that we're going to be asking the chairs to be presenting next year in the next academic year regarding their progress as a department. We’ll also be asking those same chairs to make presentations on their well-being programs in  their departments. The other three below, we'll get to in just a second.

Task Force on recruitment of underrepresented minorities

Task Force on Recruitment of Underrepresented Minorities

In order to really stay ahead and really make sure we're making progress not only on all of our wonderful tasks that I've mentioned, but also on our outcomes, I've appointed a School of Medicine Task Force on URM recruitment in particular. I think it’s really important that we get ahead of this. And really it's so rapidly evolving and [we need to] understand, understand the best practices that are out there among all of the medical schools and make sure we're doing the best we possibly can to achieve are important goals with respect to particularly student diversity.

LCME Diversity and Inclusion Requirements

So our LCME is our accrediting body for all of the medical schools in the United States. And it has a variety of elements that you need to satisfy in order to be accredited. And we have satisfied all of those elements. But there were two that we’re being monitored in which means where periodically updating them with how things are going. One of those is about diversity and inclusion. And the things they're measuring are kind of list they're listed here. 

  • They ask us to define diversity categories that we use in a table. 
  • They ask us to provide the total numbers of offers of admission made to individuals in our identified diversity groups for the most recent academic years in a table.
  • They asked us to provide the number and percent of first-year students and all students in the school from these identified diversity groups for the two most recent years in a table. 
  • And to summarize any changes that we've made in our programming. 

So that's what we've submitted in November. And soon, probably this week or next week, we'll be hearing a response from the LCME that our report has been received and what their next period of reporting will be. It's usually every two years. But we didn't want to just wait for that to have them say, “Well, you're doing a lot of good stuff. Keep, keep going and hope for the best.” We really, really want to get ahead of this and really jump ahead to best practices as quickly as we can.

Strategic Plan Metrics and Milestones - details in accordion below

University Priority Two:  Elevate the Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) Difference

Goal Three: Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Across the VTCSOM Community

Three remaining 5-year milestones

  • Increase URM student representation from 7.5% to 15%
  • Increase DEI team from 1.45 to 2.15 FTE
  • Increase M4 agreement that “the learning environment fosters a culture that values diversity and inclusion” from 65% to 90%.

So for these milestones here, this one's related to student diversity. This is what we're setting our sights on front for the taskforce is to really help us understand how to increase our URM student representation from 7.5% to 15% of the entire student body, as well as these other bolded milestones that you see there.

Task Force Charge

The charge of the taskforce is

  • To review the report we've submitted to the LCME. It's a voluminous report. We sent the part of it that had to do with this particular task to the taskforce. 
  • We also want them to identify continued barriers to URM recruitment and retention. Some of those are listed here as examples, but there may well be others beyond admissions, admissions criteria, cost of attendance, students that went elsewhere and why did they go there,  students that didn't complete their education here and why not. And other things that they will identify as barriers. 
  • We want them to summarize success stories from other medical schools. What's working? What pathways and partnerships are working? Pipelines? How, how have schools eliminated the MCAT minimum? How did that work for them and whatever they learned from that? How are summer intensive programs and other initiatives being used as well to promote success? 
  • And finally, we want them to propose specific initiatives that will help us increase our URM student representation from 7.5% to 15% in five years. 

All of those 123 tasks we've talked about before are really important for creating changes in processes and structures and educational programming, really important. But they may not yield this increase in student representation. That's why we need a separate initiative to really take a very strict, hard look at this particular challenge.

Task Force Membership. Full listing in accordion.
  • Kemi Bankole - Chief Diversity Officer (co-chair)
  • Melanie Prusakowski - Associate Dean for Admissions (co-chair)
  • Alicia Besenyei - Assistant Dean for Advancement
  • Emily Holt Foerst - Director, Academic Counseling and Enrichment Services
  • Leslie LaConte - Assistant Dean for Research
  • David Musick - Senior Dean for Faculty Affairs
  • Mosufa Zainab - student, class of 2025
  • Nneoma Edokobi - student, class of 2024
  • Akhil Pola - Psychiatry PGY1
  • Niki Potturi - Plastic Surgery PGY3
  • Shravani Reddy - GI Fellow

Task Force Membership

Here are the members of the task force. It'll be co chaired by Drs. Bankole and Prusakowski. And you can see the other members listed there representing Advancement, Student Services, Research, Faculty Affairs, two medical students, and three members of our graduate medical education community at Carilion. 

Task Force Deliverables

The deliverables are: to summarize the barriers, to summarize what other schools have done successfully, and to provide a prioritized list of new initiatives for us to consider. And the due date for that is July 31st, 2022.

Task Force on Debt Reduction

I should add that there's a related task force underway on the topic of debt reduction. Debt reduction is an issue in general that we want to improve for our students across all of the different groups. But it particularly pertains also to our under-represented groups. Our diversity categories include not only groups that are traditionally under-represented in medicine, but our diversity categories also include students that have that come from families that are financially distressed in some way according to national benchmarks, or are first in their families to go to college. So if you imagine where debt reduction is most important, it's important for everyone. It's really important for the three quarters of students that have debt in medical school. It's amazing that one-quarter do not, but three quarters do. So we want to improve that for all students. But it will also have an impact on our diversity recruitment just by the nature of being able to provide a better scholarship packages to all students.

Wrap Up

So that's our update on where we've been over the last almost a year since our task force generated its recommendations and since we started to implement those recommendations over time. It's going really, really well. We're pivoting now to looking at the outcomes, meaning our successes and diversity recruitment. And how we can really build an additional action plans that will get us where we want to be to 15% within five years.

So I will stop there. I know there's a lot in the slide deck. I'll be happy to send it around as a PDF for anyone who wants to read more. But I'd be happy to hear any comments or answer any questions. And before doing that, I just want to thank every nearly everyone except for the folks too new to perhaps have become involved, has done so much great work in this since the initiative started. I thank you, our students  thank you. It's ongoing work, not work that comes and goes. It's just a part of who we are as a school. And I appreciate everyone's efforts to be rowing in the same direction toward our goals for diversity, equity and inclusion.