Student Ombudsperson

Dr. Anna Grodzinsky Dr. Diana Dark
Dr. Anna Grodzinsky

Dr. Grodzinsky is a UMKC School of Medicine graduate. She completed her postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease at UMKC as well. Dr. Grodzinsky also completed a Cardiovascular Outcomes fellowship at Saint Luke’s Hospital and has been very active in research. She is now a practicing cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City. Of interest, she is fluent in Russian and Spanish. Dr. Grodzinsky will serve as the ombudsperson for the Years I-II medical students.

Dr. Diana Dark

Dr. Dark is a UMKC School of Medicine graduate. She completed her postgraduate training in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Dark serves as the Associate Dean for Medical Education at Saint Luke’s Hospital. Having recently transitioned out of clinical practice, she has also assumed the new role of the Associate Dean for the Learning Environment. Dr. Dark will serve as the ombudsperson for the Years III-VI medical students as well as the Graduate Health Professions in Medicine students.

Dr. Mohannad Abu Omar

Dr. Abu Omar is a graduate of University of Jordan. He completed his post graduate training in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at UMKC School of Medicine. He is now practicing at Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph. Dr. Abu Omar’s primary clinical interests are Lung Cancer prevention and diagnosis. Dr Abu Omar will serve as the ombudsperson for the MD only students based at the UMKC School of Medicine St Joseph campus.

UMKC School of Medicine created the Student Ombudsperson (ombud) within the Office of the Learning Environment in 2020. An ombudsperson is defined as a person who is charged with representing the interests of a group by investigating and addressing complaints of perceived maladministration or violation of rights.

The Student Ombudsperson offers confidential and anonymous support and advocacy specifically to the medical and allied health students at UMKC School of Medicine. The Ombudsperson may serve as an intermediary, mediator, facilitator, and informal information gatherer or simply as a listener. The Ombudsperson has no authority to take action but has access to anyone in the School for the purpose of informal resolution of concerns and disputes.

Many times, students don’t know whom to approach for help. The objective of the Student Ombudsperson is to address student concerns about how and when to approach existing resources (OAA, DEI, Office of Student Affairs, course directors, docents, rotation Faculty) if, or when, the student feels mistreated or has a conflict with another member of the School of Medicine community. The role of the ombudsman is to facilitate resolution of allegations by UMKC medical and allied health students, of perceived unfair, inappropriate, discriminating, unprofessional, or harassing treatment or behavior by faculty, staff, administrators, patients or fellow students.

The responsibilities of the Student Ombudsperson include:

Providing a welcoming, neutral, safe and confidential environment to talk.

Listening to concerns and complaints and discussing appropriate options.

Providing information on School of Medicine policies and practices.

Helping to evaluate options for addressing the concern.

Guiding the student towards resolving those options

Providing information about, and referring the student to, appropriate School of Medicine resources.

Educate the student on tactics to deal with microaggressions as appropriate.

Inquiring about wellness and encouraging contact with wellness resources.

While maintaining confidentiality, provide upward feedback to the administration (or others in authority) when a systemic issue or trend occurs.

The only exceptions to confidentiality are as follows: in the case of imminent risk of serious student harm as determined by the Ombudsperson; where mandated by law; and in situations of sexual misconduct/gender based harassment matters where federal law (Title IX) requires information be passed on to the main campus’ Title IX office.

The ombudsperson does not:

Take sides in disputes.

Adjudicate or participate in formal university grievances.

Determine guilt of any party in a dispute.

Provide legal advice.

Assign sanctions on individuals.

Replace any official university office, department or process..

Keep records of student complaints and/or conversation.

After being contacted, the ombudsperson will:

Offer/arrange a  mutually acceptable meeting place and time including a virtual appointment.

Assure the student that the discussion will remain confidential.

Remind the student that no records will be kept.

Be receptive and kind.