05:30 AM

​Three Ohio State health-sciences colleges recognized for diversity work

Three health-sciences colleges at The Ohio State University have received national recognition for the quality and effectiveness of their diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The colleges of medicine, nursing and veterinary medicine were all recipients of the 2017 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award (HEED) in the health professions. INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education, honored the three colleges along with 21 other health professions HEED recipients nationally.

Holly Mendelson, co-publisher of the magazine, visited Ohio State on April 20 to tour the colleges and present the awards.

Diversity teams from veterinary medicine, nursing and medicine.

She described the award-winners as institutions whose programming goes far beyond “lip service or something on a website or a mission statement.”

“We ask about recruitment, retention, students, faculty, tenure, supplier diversity, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans. … We really want to be about everything around diversity and inclusion and we want to hear what you’re doing,” Mendelson said.

The magazine’s leaders established the HEED awards in 2012 because “the people who are doing the work really don’t get recognized the way they should,” she said. “We really wanted to be able to shine the light on the people doing that work, and show how you’re shaping the future of this country.”

Mendelson cited programs from each college that made Ohio State’s colleges stand out among their competitors for the award. For example, she noted:

The College of Medicine has developed a Summer Undergraduate Course Creating Excellence in Scientific Study (SUCCESS) program that seeks to enhance and foster diversity among MD/PhD (Medical Scientist Training Program) students. The college also offers the National Institutes of Health-funded Discovery PREP initiative to encourage individuals, including those from populations that are underrepresented in the biomedical research workforce, to pursue a doctorate in biomedical research.

High school students can participate in the College of Nursing’s Summer Institute for Discovering Nursing, which brings students from a variety of backgrounds together to engage with real-world nurses, current students and nursing faculty and staff. Similarly, the free, one-day Future Nurse program for high school seniors and current undergraduates exposes prospective students to real-world nursing skills using patient simulators in the Technology Learning Complex as well as informal discussions with current students, faculty and staff.

The College of Veterinary Medicine also seeks to create a pipeline of diverse students and professionals through such programs as the summer residential Buckeye Vet Prep Academy, a Buckeye Vet for a Day program for high school students and the Buckeye Pre-Vet Exploration program for college undergraduates. To further develop inclusive values among the broader community, the college diversity committee partnered with the Office of Student Life’s Multicultural Center to create a Community of Inclusion Certificate Program for interested students, faculty and staff.

The current issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity highlights the colleges’ innovative education programs.

These combined initiatives and the national recognition are “a testament to the commitment to diversity and inclusion by The Ohio State University. And these three colleges are leading the way,” said Leon McDougle, chief diversity office for Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “By championing this cause, we can make Ohio State a better place for everyone.”