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President's Message on Diversity

Janis P. Bellack

 

As a graduate school devoted to preparing health professionals to lead and advance care in their respective fields, it is essential that our graduates are well equipped to do so in an increasingly diverse society. Changing demographics in the U.S. and beyond make it more important than ever that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni are knowledgeable about and sensitive to differences in health beliefs and practices among the many different cultures represented in today's patient populations and communities. Becoming a culturally competent practitioner is a critical part of every academic program offered at the MGH Institute.

Our commitment to diversity focuses on our students, faculty,  staff, and graduates' ability to participate in system and policy changes aimed at addressing health disparities and ensuring access to affordable, safe, and high quality health care for our most vulnerable populations.

We also work with the campus community to foster and continually reinforce a climate of inclusiveness, where all members of the community feel equally welcomed and respected. Such a climate must infuse not only our daily interactions with each other but also be reflected in our classroom, lab, and clinical learning environments.

We each have a commitment to learn from others whose backgrounds, values, beliefs, religions, customs, age, color, gender, sexual orientation, and abilities are different from our own, and to do so in a climate of openness and civility. In so doing, we prepare ourselves to exhibit the same openness, civility, respect for and understanding of those in our broader community and our increasingly global society.

Attracting students, faculty, and staff who represent diverse groups enriches us all and ensures that we are fully able to realize our commitments to preparing culturally competent health professionals and building a climate of inclusiveness.

Creating and sustaining the kind of learning and work environments that support inclusiveness and cultural competence, and that attract diverse students, faculty, and staff, is the shared responsibility of all members of the MGH Institute community. We will not fully realize that commitment unless we each make it a personal priority. I hope you will join me in doing so.

Janis P. Bellack
President and John Hilton Knowles Professor