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OHSU Center for Diversity & Inclusion | Vol. 2, 2013


Making Our Impact We are pleased to share with you a report on our collective accomplishments in advancing diversity and inclusion at Oregon Health and Science University. Our “Community of Inclusion” annual report is a high-level look at our institution’s priorities and opportunities in further advancing our commitment to diversity. We are proud of significant efforts and programs led by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, in partnership with many of you – our staff, leaders and managers. Over the past year, we launched the OHSU Diversity Action Plan, which provides vision and leadership for annual goals, strategies and objectives. We also worked across the university to develop new institutional policies for diversity. We helped establish new employee resource groups that provide social and mentoring support for students, staff and faculty who share similar backgrounds. We strengthened recruitment and retention efforts focused on diverse students and faculty. As we further boost our efforts toward achieving meaningful and lasting cultural transformation at OHSU, we hope for your continued support and collaboration. Thank you, and we look forward to our enduring partnership. Sincerely, Norwood Knight-Richardson, M.D., M.A., M.B.A. OHSU Chief Diversity Officer, Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer

Leslie D. Garcia, M.P.A. Assistant Chief Diversity Officer, Vice Provost and Director, Center for Diversity & Inclusion

We invite you to view the report at

OHSU Pride Fostering Support for LGBT Staff and Allies OHSU Pride pioneered the establishment of Employee Resource Groups on campus when it was formed in 2007. Six years later, the group is 100 members strong, and has made a significant difference in developing an inclusive workplace culture that is welcoming to the LGBT community. “I think there’s been a shift from this being a place where people were reluctant to say, ‘Yeah, you can use the OHSU logo,’ or ‘Yeah, let’s walk in the (Portland Pride) Parade,’ “ said Patrick Holmes, chair of OHSU Pride.

Members and officer attending a recent OHSU Pride meeting include — Elizabeth Grey, member; Tamara Totten, vice chair; Michael Tom, treasurer; Patrick Holmes, chair; and Jess Pethtel, secretary

OHSU Pride played a key role in advocating for transgender-inclusive health benefits for employees and their dependents. That policy reflects how OHSU, recognized by Human Rights Campaign as a national leader in its treatment of LGBT patients, is committed to inclusion. So what’s next on OHSU Pride’s checklist? Holmes said he hopes to work on an awareness campaign that provides cultural competency training on LGBT issues, as well as gives visibility to allies on campus. “We want to create an environment where there’s no question that LGBT patients, students and employees are welcome here,” Holmes said. “Maybe a rainbow pin that you put on your badge that says, ‘Hey, I’m a supporter.’ “ Connect with OHSU Pride via or email

The ever-growing OHSU contingent at the Portland Pride Parade. Story: Rene Ferran Photos: Maileen Hamto & Ismael Meda

¡Bravo! OHSU: Hispanic Chamber Honors Contributions to Latinos OHSU is honored to receive the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber’s 2013 ¡BRAVO! Award for Public Partnership. The recognition applauds the university’s contributions to the economic and social advancement of Latinos in Oregon. Oregon Health and Science University has been a long-time partner of the Hispanic Chamber, which provides college scholarships, supports small businesses, and develops Latino civic and business leadership in the region. From its inception 20 years ago, the Hispanic Chamber has sponsored 2

scholarships for Latinos to pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees, and OHSU this year sponsored five $1,000 grants. The Chamber also hosts Latino leaders from various industries to develop management skills and foster networking with community leaders. Thus far, four OHSU employees have taken part in the Latino Leadership Program.

OHSU Contracting Services and Human Resources participate in the Hispanic Chamber’s annual trade show, which brings together entrepreneurs, small business owners, employers and job seekers for a one-day exposition of contracting and employment opportunities. In addition to providing support for the Hispanic Chamber, OHSU makes a difference in the Latino community through educating the next generation of health professionals, conducting research to alleviate health disparities, and serving the community through health and wellness education. Read more at

Advocating for the Asian Pacific Islander Community Joseph Santos-Lyons has seen many positive changes in his native Oregon during his tenure as Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO).

Photo: Ismael Meda

Diversity & Inclusion Awards At an awards celebration held at the Portland Art Museum, Senior Vice President Dr. Norwood Knight-Richardson and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion recognized the contributions and accomplishments of OHSU’s students, faculty members, alumni and community partners in advancing diversity and inclusion throughout the campus and beyond. Individuals and teams who have gone “above and beyond” in enhancing OHSU’s community of inclusion were honored for their efforts. Those who were recognized were selected from a competitive field of nominees. The award recipients were recognized for advancing health equity and eliminating health disparities. “Each of the award recipients have made a difference in enhancing educational opportunities for diverse students, as well as increasing access to quality health care among underserved communities,” says Leslie D. Garcia, M.P.A., Assistant Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Vice Provost. “By focusing on the most vulnerable members of our community, we are helping change countless lives for the better.” Nominations for the next Diversity and Inclusion Awards are due in March 2014. For forms and criteria, visit Outstanding Faculty

Edward A. Neuwelt, M.D., Department of Neurology

Outstanding Alumna

Connie Kim Yen Nguyen-Truong, Ph.D., R.N., P.C.C.N., School of Nursing

Outstanding Student Leadership

Amelia Tomlin, BSN ’13, Ashland Campus, School of Nursing

Outstanding Staff

Mark Mitchell, M.A., School of Dentistry

Outstanding Research

Dena Hassouneh, Ph.D., R.N., A.N.P., P.M.H.N.P., A.P.R.N.-B.C., School of Nursing

Outstanding OHSU Department Intercultural Psychiatric Program

Outstanding Community Partner

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

“I never thought I’d see Oregon at this place now where racial and cultural diversity have become more a part of the mainstream of Portland and the surrounding region,” he said in a presentation that commemorated Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month at OHSU. More than 212,000 APIs live in Oregon, including 150,000 in the Portland area. APIs represent the fastest growing minority population in the country. APANO is focusing on priority areas in its health advocacy work. • Improving cultural competency, accessibility and affordability for uninsured and underinsured API Oregonians. There are 107 different languages spoken within the API community in the state. About 40% of APIs in Oregon live in poverty. • Improving mental health services. About 30% of Asian-American girls in grades 5-12 report suffering from depression. API girls ages 15-24 have the highest suicide rate in the U.S. • Improving cancer detection rates. Heart and lung cancer are the leading causes of death in the API community, and Vietnamese women have 5x the cervical cancer rate of white women – the highest incidence rate of any ethnic group in the nation. For more on APANO’s health equity work, visit Story: Rene Ferran 3

Enhancing Access, Service in Rural Oregon An OHSU delegation led by School of Medicine Dean Dr. Mark Richardson traveled to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation this summer. The visit’s objective was to meet with doctors at the Warm Springs Indian Health Service, as well as tribal staff, to thank them for being an OHSU partner and to discuss the OHSU Health Curriculum Transformation Initiative and its effect on preparing the next generation of rural doctors. The Warm Springs clinic serves as one of the sites where OHSU students serve rural residencies as a local preceptor facility. Tribal officials indicated they wanted to have an “OHSU Day” at Warm Springs, targeted primarily at students and their families who might be interested in a medical or health career. According to the Association of American Indian Physicians, there are fewer than 400 self-identified doctors of American Indian or Alaskan Native descent in the nation. There also are no Native American physicians in any of the tribal health centers among the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon. “At the tribal health clinics, most of the staff is non-native,” said Michelle Singer, Diversity Community Outreach Specialist for OHSU’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. “We need to identify role models – a prospective student, someone at the front lines, somebody they can look to, to break down that barrier. It’s very important.” Story: Rene Ferran | Photo: Maileen Hamto

Photo: Maileen Hamto

Creating Opportunities Research Interns Sharpen Lab, Clinical Skills Growing the pipeline of diverse professionals in the health, science and research fields requires intentional, sustained and strategic effort. CDI’s summer research internship programs create opportunities for hands-on research and clinical experiences in medicine, nursing, dentistry and other healthcare professions. Twenty-two research interns participated in the summer Equity and Ted R. Lilley Cancer Continuing Umbrella of Research Education (CURE), which is co-sponsored by the Knight Cancer Institute. Interns worked full-time in a research laboratory, supervised by faculty and graduate student mentors. The interns attended weekly seminars and meetings with fellow students and faculty to discuss ongoing research. In addition to research and clinical interns, OHSU departments also hosted students from Self Enhancement Inc. Summer Equity Program

Cancer CURE Internship

Empowerment and Advocacy A cross-departmental group of staff members who want to advocate for people with disabilities have formed the Disability Employee Resource Group. The resource group seeks to bring people with disabilities together with their allies to create a safe place to voice concerns and to provide peer support. It is committed to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and to educate and nurture awareness of the strengths they bring to the OHSU community. “We want to provide a safe place to discuss concerns freely, and offer networking and mentorship opportunities,” says Lina Reiss, Ph.D., DERG co-chair and Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at Oregon Hearing Research Center. “We hope our group can contribute to the feeling of empowerment and address staff concerns.” To get involved with the DERG, contact co-chairs Lina Reiss at or Matthew Millard, Organizational Effectiveness, at


Values, Strategy Guide OHSU Diversity Plan Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Norwood Knight-Richardson, M.D., M.A.,M.B.A., introduced the Diversity Action Plan at the 2013 “State of Diversity” townhall. OHSU celebrated university wide accomplishments in creating a community of inclusion, and renewed commitment to develop strategic and integrated approaches to advancing diversity, equity and engagement.

Linking New Professionals with Diverse Communities On a sunny August day in Portland, more than 600 people gathered at the Center for Health and Healing lawn to celebrate the newest members of the region’s growing multicultural professional community. In collaboration with Partners in Diversity, OHSU hosted Say Hey!, the premier networking event for professionals of color who are new to Portland. The quarterly event is an opportunity for professionals of color who are new to the area to be introduced to Oregon’s diverse communities. “We want our new professionals of color to get connected to our community. My favorite thing to hear from honorees after a Say Hey! is how welcomed they felt. They were no longer a stranger but a part of our diverse community. This is what Say Hey is all about,” said Mari Watanabe, executive director of Partners in Diversity. The Say Hey! event attracted a large crowd, and set the record for the largest number of honorees, including professionals who are new to OHSU, Nike, Intel, Portland Public Schools, nonprofits, government, and other regional employers.

The Diversity Action Plan – developed with input from the Diversity Advisory Council – is intended to map the future of diversity and inclusion at OHSU. The plan guides the university’s efforts to achieve diversity goals in recruitment, retention, improving the climate of inclusion, building community partnerships and benchmarking for excellence. The plan seeks to improve access, advancement, retention, professional opportunities and the campus climate for all OHSU community members, while aligning with business objectives. To read the Diversity Action Plan, visit

Return to Traditional Cultural Diets Promises to Reduce Health Risks Over the past 25 years, scientists have determined the link between a person’s birth weight and their risk for such diseases as heart disease and diabetes. As Dr. Kent Thornburg, director of the OHSU Heart Research Center, explained at a Latino Health Forum, the lower your birth weight, the higher your risk of developing a host of chronic diseases. Thornburg also has studied the effect of

what he sees as the changing of the U.S. food culture has had on birth weights, and notices a disturbing trend in the Latino community. “The Westernization of the Latino diet is driving disease rates to rise,” he said. “It’s high-calorie malnutrition, and it’s just as bad as starving.” The community forum brought together healthcare providers and community leaders from OHSU, Familias en Acción, Estrella TV, Wallace Medical Concern,

and other groups seeking to work on a health outreach campaign to reverse this trend. Dr. Thornburg believes a return to a traditional Latin American diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, is important to this effort. “The community is only now just beginning to show the effect of poor diets,” he said. “We want to find ways to educate and help the Latino community avoid health problems.” Story: Rene Ferran | Photo: Maileen Hamto 5

Congratulations OHSU! OHSU is honored to receive accolades for successful initiatives in advancing equity and inclusion. In addition to the Hispanic Chamber ¡Bravo! Award (see page 2), here are highlights of recent OHSU kudos: LGBT Equality Advocate Award OHSU was named the recipient of the 2013 “Equality Advocate Award” by Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s chief advocacy organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2012, OHSU became the largest employer in Oregon to provide transgender-inclusive health care benefits to employees and their dependents. Basic Rights also commended the advocacy and support of OHSU Pride, the resource group for OHSU’s LGBT community, in furthering the university’s commitment to healthcare equality. Hope and Liberty Award The Oregon League of Minority Voters honored OHSU President Dr. Joseph E. Robertson, Jr. with the 2013 Hope and Liberty Award, recognizing leadership and commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion across the university. Under Dr. Robertson’s leadership, OHSU adopted new institutional policies and articulated the business case for diversity, enhanced infrastructure, and allocated financial resources to promote diversity goals. Leadership in LGBT Healthcare For the third year in a row, OHSU has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the Healthcare Equality Index 2013, an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest LGBT organization. OHSU earned top marks for its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing adequate healthcare.


Diversity Profile Pharmacist Huy Nguyen considers working at OHSU a homecoming. He became involved in OHSU student programs while in high school, and he credits diversity-focused outreach programs for introducing him to career opportunities in health and sciences. In an interview with CDI intern Naod Aynalem (see below), Huy talks about his career path and finding his professional home at OHSU. Q: What is your background? I grew up in Portland. I was born in Vietnam, and came to the U.S. when I was seven. I went to Benson Polytechnic High School. In high school, there were technical programs like programing and engineering. Then, there was a program called HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) which focused on dental, pharmacy and other health careers. Around sophomore year, I knew that I wanted to do something in the health field. Q: How did you get involved with OHSU? My first experience at OHSU was in high school. I did some volunteering at the Pharmacy at the main hospital. I knew I needed volunteering experiences, so I went to Volunteer Services. I was assigned to work in pharmaceutical deliveries where I picked up and dropped off drugs. I also started an internship with the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) which was called the Center for Diversity & Multicultural Affairs at that time. I helped out with middle-school summer programs and mentored students through OHSU’s Your Opportunity (YO!) in Science program. Q: How have those early experiences helped you decide to pursue a career in the health care field? I knew I liked to help people. I liked to work with people and it also provided for stability as far as jobs. Those three factors influenced my direction. I knew engineering didn’t interest me. I was good at math until a certain point to where numbers became letters so I didn’t even want to go in that direction. You know there are always family members on medications, but at a young age you don’t really know why. But if you were able to know about all those medications, then you could help all those people around you. Q: What do you like most about being a pharmacist? Making a difference. When you work at OHSU, you see all kinds of people and conditions, from the richest of people to the poorest. I like being able to work with people to determine the best alternatives for their medication regime, to ensure that it works for them. By working closely with patients, they are more likely to follow through and take their medications. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Naod Aynalem, a student at Jesuit High School, was one of several high school and college students who worked as interns at OHSU departments over the summer. The paid internship provided hands-on learning opportunities for diverse youth who are interested in exploring careers in healthcare administration. While working at the CDI office, Naod worked with staff on a number of different projects, from writing assignments, to assisting at various events.

OHSU Initiatives Focus on Diversity Recruitment Grant to Build Pipeline of Diverse Nurses

A $1.05 million federal grant will help the School of Nursing enhance its diversity recruitment and outreach efforts. The three-year grant is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. OHSU seeks to attract and advance a diverse nursing student body within the Oregon public education system, from pre-nursing through graduate education. The grant, which provides financial help to 44 students annually, aspires to increase the number of undergraduate nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds to 16 percent (currently at 13 percent) by 2016. Another goal is to enroll more community college students with associate degrees into OHSU’s baccalaureate nursing degree program. For more info about the diversity grant, visit:

Our Team Norwood Knight Richardson, M.D., M.A., M.B.A. Chief Diversity Officer OHSU Senior Vice President Chief Administrative Officer

Leslie Garcia, M.P.A. Assistant Vice Provost Assistant Chief Diversity Officer Director, Center for Diversity & Inclusion

Adrienne Thompson, Ed.D. Diversity Manager Faculty Recruitment and Retention

Maileen Hamto, M.B.A. Communications Manager

Michelle Singer Diversity Community Outreach Specialist

Supporting Diversity in Dentistry

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, OHSU’s School of Dentistry will work toward increasing recruitment and retention of socially disadvantaged and underrepresented student communities. OHSU will receive funding and resources, including a three-day training course; peer mentor matchups; access to online courses; and fundraising and development tutorials. Project director Dr. Jay Anderson (right), chairman of the school’s Diversity Committee, will work with the Black United Fund of Oregon to implement a yearlong recruitment and retention campaign. For more info visit:

Diversity Scholarship in Division of Management

Looking to jumpstart your career by going to grad school? Do you work in a healthcare setting that serves diverse communities? The Division of Management is offering a scholarship to support admitted students who work to serve disadvantaged populations, or those who increase the diversity of the school. To be considered for the diversity scholarship, students must be admitted to these OHSU degree programs offered by the Division of Management: Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management; Master of Science in Healthcare Management; or the Healthcare MBA, a joint program with Portland State University. For more info visit: or contact Program Director Jessica Walter at

Visiting Clerkship Program for Diverse Students

The Internal Medicine Visiting Clerkship Program for Diverse Students is sponsored by the OHSU Department of Medicine student and residency programs and the Center for Diversity & Inclusion. This program provides support, stipend, and mentoring for qualified fourth-year U.S. medical students to participate in a Department of Medicine subspecialty or Intensive Care Unit rotation. A stipend of $2,000 will be awarded to cover room, board and transportation during the internal medicine rotation at OHSU. For more info contact Monica Di Pietrantonio, Clerkship Coordinator, or call 503 494-8676.

Rola Khouri Administrative Assistant

Keyanus Jacobo Executive Assistant, Chief Diversity Officer

Jose Garcia Office Assistant

Interns: Rene Ferran and Jillian Toda

Connect With Us Center for Diversity & Inclusion Office: Mackenzie Hall, Suite 1115 Phone: 503 494-5657 Email: Web: News:

Story Ideas? Email news stories to Maileen Hamto, Diversity News Editor at:


Center for Diversity & Inclusion 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road Portland, Oregon 97239 503 494-5657

How Are We Doing? In the coming months, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion will reach out to you – OHSU students, faculty and staff – for an honest and candid conversation about diversity and inclusion at OHSU. It has been three years since the first “climate” survey was implemented across OHSU. Since that time, many policy and structural changes have occurred to enhance our community of inclusion at OHSU. We launched a Diversity Action Plan, invested more resources to recruiting and retaining diverse staff and faculty, established employee resource groups, and strengthened our community partnerships. We want to hear from you about how you think we’re doing. What’s working well? What can we improve upon? Watch your inbox (both electronic and snail mail) for an invitation to share your views. Thanks, in advance, for your participation.

Employee Resource Groups Supporting a Diverse Workforce Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are OHSU-sponsored and employeemanaged groups, and are comprised of students, staff and faculty from underrepresented backgrounds or who share a similar interest. Allies are always welcome to join any employee resource group. ERGs provide opportunities for professional development, social support, networking, mentoring and community participation, and help promote cultural awareness and employee engagement. Groups plan a host of social activities, cultural events, competency lectures and networking opportunities throughout the year. Emerging & established employee resource groups include: • African American ERG • Asian Pacific Islander ERG • Disability ERG • International ERG VISIT:

• Latinos Unidos Organization • Native American ERG • OHSU Pride

Diversity News from OHSU  

A newsletter produced by Oregon Health & Science University's Center for Diversity and Inclusion

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