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The Penn State Nittany Lion statue is seen in the courtyard at Penn State College of Medicine.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Mission and Vision Statements on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine Vision Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine are fully committed to diversity among its faculty, staff, students/learners, and volunteers. As shared by Dean Hillemeier, “our organization is diverse in so many ways – not just our races, ethnicities and sexual orientations, but also in our generations, our military and community service, our religions, our abilities and disabilities, our life experiences, our languages” .These differences are valued organizational assets. Diversity of individual backgrounds and points of view are affirmed and respected.

We are also accountable for advancing mutual support, equity and inclusion in all forms, consistent with Penn State’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Excellence. Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine are creating a culture of respect based on recognizing that our ability to understand and succeed in a multicultural world is critical to innovation in a changing health care landscape.

Our commitment to diversity is driven by Penn State Health’s four core values: respect, integrity, teamwork, and excellence. Our diversity requires fostering an environment where we can achieve the highest standards of respect for faculty, students, staff, and members of the community we serve. Integrity means holding ourselves accountable to advancing the diversity of students under-represented in medicine and graduate studies and the diversity of our faculty/staff, including basic science researchers, and creating an inclusive environment for all of these populations. Teamwork is best achieved through mutual support and collaborating across differences. Excellence comes from a diversity of perspectives that results in outcomes that are efficient, thoughtful, and effective. Our commitment to excellence, therefore, means that we challenge the status quo and maximize the potential of our students/learners, employees, and communities served.

Our goal is to maintain an educational and work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, and deserves recognition as “best in class” for a respectful and inclusive culture for our patients, students/learners, and faculty/staff. Commitment to equitable treatment and the elimination of discrimination in all of its forms and at all organizational levels is essential to our success, which can be achieved through inclusive and rightful policies and practices. Consistent with Penn State’s Nondiscrimination Policy, we will ensure fair and inclusive access to facilities, programs, resources, and services.

Within such a respectful and inclusive educational and work environment, individuals will be inspired to bring forth their ideas, providing an opportunity to the institution to fully leverage its creative talents and potential excellence.

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine Vision Statement on Culturally Responsive Care

Creating a student population and a faculty/staff that reflects our increasingly diverse patient population and diversity within our communities of basic research interest is critical to delivering culturally excellent family-centered care and for advancing discoveries in scientific knowledge that underlie that care. We will, therefore, advance the diversity of our student population, and our faculty/staff, including researchers, by assessing recruiting practices, implementing effective outreach programs, and creating an inclusive climate where individuals from diverse backgrounds can thrive.

We recognize that it is critical to address intergroup disparities in areas such as representation, engagement, learning outcomes and graduation rates, areas of basic science research, and development and professional opportunities. We also appreciate that understanding and addressing the disparities in health and in health care of underrepresented communities is important. Factors such as socioeconomic status, religion, race/ethnicity, linguistics, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and veteran status all impact patient expectations of health care as well as outcomes. We will, therefore, emphasize the importance of the relationship between diversity and disparities in health and health care to students/learners as well as our faculty/staff to further define our institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Mission Statement for Diversifying the Faculty and Staff of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine

Although the demographic composition of the nation is changing such that by 2050, there will be no majority racial or ethnic group and no one group will make up more than 50 percent of the total population, the health care professional workforce is not keeping pace. And while approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population is estimated to have a disability, the estimation for the number of physicians with a disability is less than one percent.

Research shows that a diverse physician and basic science research workforce positively impacts the quality of care for patients. Preparing diverse faculty, physicians and researchers for future leadership positions in hospitals and health care organizations informs and promotes unexplored research agendas that impact health disparities and other concerns of under-served populations. In addition, a diverse community of senior leaders, residents and staff enhances Penn State Health/College of Medicine's ability to be innovative and to support under-represented populations more effectively.

As a result, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine are committed to recruiting, retaining, and advancing a senior leadership team and workforce that is reflective of the diversity of the nation and of the medical center’s increasingly diverse patient population. In addition, our commitment includes the diversity required in basic science research to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse nation. In this context a diverse administration, faculty, research, and staff workforce includes those from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine (African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American individuals), those with military service, individuals with disabilities, and women in currently underrepresented fields.

Mission Statement for Diversifying Penn State College of Medicine’s Student Population

According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, the demographic composition of the nation is changing. The U.S. white population, which was 62.1 percent in 2015, is expected to decrease to 46 percent by 2065, while the Hispanic population will increase to 24 percent (from 18 percent in 2015). The Asian population will rise to 14 percent (compared with 6 percent in 2015) and the Black population will remain relatively the same at 13 percent. Students entering medical school in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016, across the nation, were 60 percent white, 22 percent Asian, 9.8 percent Hispanic, and 7.5 percent Black, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges. The changing national demographics mean that our student/learner population should become increasingly more diverse as well.

Recruiting a diverse medical student, graduate student, and physician assistant student body will have a positive impact on the learning environment for the increasing diversity representation of our learner population and on the quality of education provided to all students/learners.

Increasing the diversity of the medical student population and residents potentially increases the number of physicians who will work with under-represented populations and work in under-served communities.

As a result, Penn State College of Medicine is committed to recruiting, retaining, and advancing a student body that is reflective of the diversity of the nation’s and medical center’s patient population. The focus of our diversity efforts will be those from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine (African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American individuals), those with military service, and students with disabilities.

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