The Collective – UMKC DEI Updates

Melissa Lewis, Ph.D.

• UMKC SOM Saint Joseph’s Campus – In 2020, UMKC School of Medicine was awarded a Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Medical Student Education Grant to start a medical school campus in the rural community of Saint Joseph, Missouri. The grant’s goal is to increase the workforce of primary care physicians providing medical care to rural, tribal, and resource-limited communities. Melissa Lewis, Ph.D., a member of the Cherokee Nation, research expert about indigenous populations and revitalizing traditional, cultural lifestyles in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, will work collaboratively with the Office of DEI. She will have a joint, faculty appointment at the Saint Joseph’s campus and support and promote recruitment, retention, and education about American Indian and indigenous communities. The School of Medicine is also looking to have a Native American Elder assist with ensuring that our energies and work about recruitment, retention, and education are respectful to the spirits and bodies of the land the School of Medicine occupies.

Mikah Thompson, J.D.

• Curriculum – The Anti-Racism and Cultural Bias modules launched during the 2020-2021 academic year with the first module titled Cultural Self-Awareness/Cultural Sensibility. Professor Mikah Thompson from UMKC School of Law has taught this topic to year 2 students, 4th-6th year students in Nov. – Dec. DoRo , and additional modules to physician assistant students. Thompson will continue leading efforts to provide this educational curriculum to years 3 – 6 students as well as anesthesiologist assistant students in the spring. The curriculum continues to evolve with the assistance and support of Tamorah Lewis, M.D., Ph.D., Diana Dark, M.D., Nurry Pirani, M.D., Julie Banderas, Ph.D., Kathy Ervie, Melanie Guthrie, Rachel McCommon, and Doris Agwu.

The Office of DEI is currently developing education and training about DEI topics specifically identity, implicit bias, and microaggressions. These sessions will be offered throughout the academic year with the first sessions available in spring 2021. More information to come in 2021.

Congratulations to Rachel McCommon who gave an excellent, interactive presentation on Dec. 9 titled Identity in the Workplace for the Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.