Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

April Meeting Minutes

Diversity Council

April 8, 2019 – 12:00 noon

Attendees:  Nichole Ammon, Michael Appleman, James Barrett, Carmen Javier (zoom), Molly O’Malley, Terri Robinson, Patricia Thornborough, Julie Aultman (Chair), Elaine G (attending for Rod Ingram), Sandra Emerick, Kimberly Kennedy, Amy Lee, Anita Pokorny, Margy Sanders, Jodie Turosky (zoom), and Raymond Larnyoh (zoom)

Unable to Attend: Stacey Gardner-Buckshaw, Margarita Kokinova, Andre Burton, Cody Juguilon


Welcome and Review/Approval of Minutes

Chair Julie Aultman called the meeting to order at 12:04 p.m.  She asked if there were any additions, deletions or corrections to the February 11, 2019 minutes.

Carmen suggested that meeting minutes be distributed with more time prior to the meeting, as she read over the minutes and some items that were discussed already had passed. Molly and Julie decided to send the draft minutes with the call for agenda items, a week earlier, due to the workload of diversity as it stands now. Further discussion can be entertained later when staffing changes.

There being no other minutes issues, Julie asked for a motion to approve the minutes. Nicole Ammon motioned the approval.  Michael Appleman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

LGBTQ: Terminology in the Curriculum

Julie heard an individual speak about terminology in the LGBT community, an example of this would be “male pattern balding,” which would exclude the trans community, because of the gendered assumption with the common name. Julie asked if the council wanted the speaker to come in and address the council and look for ways to improve terminology in the curriculum. The council agreed with this idea and the overall idea that terminology should be updated across the board.

Anita posed a question asking if when students register if they are asked about their preferred pronouns. Sandra says no, but we should, and Sandra also wants to include preferred pronouns on the students’ nametags during orientation/onboarding. Anita says there are stickers that you can add to nametags to mange this.

Sandra brought up that we should provide the community with a standard for using preferred pronouns as we introduce the community to the terms, like when we introduce people and explain the how and the why.

Anita suggested that when surveying the NEOMED community we should also have a standard that includes nonbinary language for anyone who surveys anyone else to make sure that we are including all genders and asking if gender is important in the findings of the survey. Julie suggested talking to Institutional Research to see if this can be implemented.

Amy said she has a contact that is a faculty member in the MPH program from Cleveland State and she can ask him what they are doing in their surveys to get prospective. Amy also brought up that a standard of language as it relates to other diverse people should also be considered; an example of this would be that Asian people prefer to be called Asian and not Oriental.

Elaine added that there’s a possibility that her office can create and send out some signature requirements for community members, requesting them to add their pronouns on their e-mail signature.

Sandra, in thinking of the Compass changes and policy changes said that we there are plenty of policy documents that should be looked over and revised if needed to make for more inclusive language.

Julie mentioned that an outside observer told her that NEOMED is ahead of the game compared to many of the institutions and we are trying but need to take it to the next level and make sure the entire community is aware. CAL and CMAC would be a place to start with curricular recommendations. Andre and Molly and Julie and follow up with them and the council. Julie will also reach out to the Q Club and see if they want to bring her contact in as a speaker, with the event open to all of the NEOMED community.

Michael stated that there are points in the curriculum when it comes to patent care and he thinks we can do better and would be willing to help

Carmen wanted the council to be aware that certain professors print out rosters to the class and she suggests adding preferred pronouns to the rosters so professors can be more aware.

Poverty Simulation Recap

Nicole reported that the Poverty Simulation Pilot with M4 students was on March 5-6, as part as capstone. The plan is that the simulations will be used as part of a class with M1 student in the future. Overall it was well received. Students were fairly engaged and had a good time.

Feedback was interesting and there was some good constructive feedback with what they liked and wanted to change. Students want more when it comes to this program, more time to learn and digest, more than just an afternoon. Other comments included students who felt that some other students did not take the simulation seriously enough, as participants who lived in poverty felt it was not a “game” and it could be viewed that way.

Decision making in the simulation was challenging and students appreciated having an aspect on why patients sometimes do not get medication filled because there was more on their plate.

Anita and Sandra discussed when the Bridges through Poverty program was ran that the biggest problem when doing it before was there wasn’t enough time and it takes time to get through. Doing Bridges out of Poverty with the simulation it needs to be a series and be early in the curriculum. Program will also be implemented in IPE on the pharmacy side, so COM and COP students will experience this.

Margy suggested that during the poverty simulation that we use community members. UAkron does it and the  folks from the community can give a different perspective. People form the community let the students know what is important and what isn’t important. Nicole says they have discussed that and that is something they are considering. They pulled this together quickly and will be more planned in the fall.

Michael mentioned that the series with plenty of time and ongoing learning is important but students also need to address their own implicit biases and building a skillset around that.

Anita asked if there is somewhere in the curriculum where implicit biases are mentioned, since we lost the speaker in the PF week. Sandra has talked to people to discuss this further, but there is a deep hole left by the smaller time for PF week as it relates to implicit bias.

WiN Lactation Policy Updates

Sandra mentioned the policies “1 year rule” as restricting, as some choose to breastfeed past 1 one year and we as an institution should not be putting a timeline on that choice. There was agreeance among the members surrounding taking the time limit out.

Molly brought up that the policy uses the gender identifiers “she” and “women” which is not inclusive too gender non-conforming and trans men, as those individuals may feel excluded as it relates to this policy. Molly suggested using all gender neutral language before the policy is officially updated. Molly also brought up the use of an inclusive sign for the placard to identify lactation rooms that included direct breast feeding and pumping that was already sent to Andre prior.

Elaine asked for a heads up for communication to the NEOMED community when the lactation areas are completed so the information can be spread through the Pulse.

Gender neutral restrooms were brought up and a discussion surrounding new construction and the addition of lactation rooms and gender neutral bathrooms as a standard.

Diversity Council Composition Update

There were 10 nominations for members at large. The bylaws state that 4 members at large be in the council, however, at present time there are 7. Julie stated that the council would likely remain at 7 members at large, but would discuss with Andre. Andre and Julie will be looking over the applications and would bring their nominations to the President, who would then appoint the members. This will be announced at the next meeting and applicants will receive e-mails when the President has appointed them.

Molly informed the group that going forward, there will be 3 students from COM and COP as representatives. Of the 3 members, 1 would be a first year student and 2 will be second year students. There will be 1 representative from COGS. This will aid in passing down information with staggered years and help with events such as the Multicultural Festival.

Multicultural Festival

Julie asked a show of hands to show who is going to the event. Molly reminded the group that tickets can still be bought from her or online.

Carmen stated that Judges are still needed and to please contact Carmen or Molly to volunteer.

The menu includes student submitted recipes including orange chicken, crab Rangoon, plantains, stuffed grape leaves, and falafel. There will be horchata water to drink also.


Elaine brought in a New York Times article on Gen Z, where the writers asked a diversity question that asked what was most important to them. The overwhelming majority noted that sexual identity is the most important to them. Elaine thought this was interesting and something to be aware of as we see more Gen Z learners.  There is a Gen Z presentation on Thursday for those interested.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 12:52 p.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for the fall.


Submitted by,

Molly O’Malley


Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Phone: 330.325.6736
Email: diversity@neomed.edu


Employment and academic discrimination against any individual on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status is prohibited.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Northeast Ohio Medical University