Welcome to the Office of Diversity and Equity. Our office was established to support the Mission of the School of Medicine by helping create diverse working and learning environments for our students, trainees, administration, faculty and staff. Literature has shown that diversity is necessary for the delivery of high quality education and among health care professionals, improves access to care for underserved populations. Diversity in the research workforce accelerates advances and brings a variety of thoughts and ideas to stimulate exploration and discovery. Our clinical efforts are strengthened as diversity among managers of healthcare is reported to be good business sense and gives us the opportunity to be more inclusive and comprehensive in the care we provide patients and communities.
The Office of Diversity and Equity is dedicated to increasing the numbers and percentages of under-represented minorities and vulnerable populations in the medical profession for two basic reasons: 1) such increased representation is essential to optimizing the quality of care and lowering health care costs in the US; and, 2) the health professions cannot achieve their potential without full representation from all of the socio-demographic groups in the country. The Office is focused on research, programming and support, all working in concert to enhance diversity and inclusion in the School. Building on investigation as the foundation for our work, programming evolves from research that focuses specifically on diversity related issues. Our office is dedicated to discovering new knowledge and communicating that knowledge to medical complexes throughout the nation and beyond.
A robust experience and literature (for example, see Association of American Medical Colleges’ – Reflections on Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Medicine: Commemorating Dr. Herbert W. Nickens’ Legacy (2014) or the American Medical Association’s webpage) clearly indicate that to effectively increase the numbers and percentages of minorities within the field of medicine will require identifying and supporting students long before their applications to medical school. Accordingly, central to our mission is support of mechanisms to identify and support such students through “pipeline programs”. Our pipeline programs include events and activities that promote outreach at the K-12 school level, facilitate pre-medical advising at the undergraduate level, provide recruitment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and support medical school admissions through the post-baccalaureate program.
Diversity and inclusion are important to us. We strive to recruit, foster success, support and encourage faculty, residents, administration, staff and students who represent diversity in such areas as gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and other protected groups. We invite you to explore diversity at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. You will find a team committed to a thriving environment of learning and productivity.
Dr. David S. Kountz, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.P.
Associate Dean of Diversity and Equity