Our Commitment

Our commitment is to use a systems-change approach to cultivate, integrate, and advance the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the work and learning environments at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. We recognize the persistent and pervasive presence of racism and bias in society and the fields of science and medicine and assume an active role in undoing racism and bias in our practice, policies, curriculum, and structures. We further commit to supporting a diversified workforce through our pipeline programs, an equitable learning experience for all of our students, and support of the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty.

Our Commitment to Addressing Racism and Bias 

The The Patricia S. Levinson Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs (CMCA) recognizes that race is a primary organizing principle in American society. And, in healthcare, medicine, and scientific research, the roles of race and racism have systematically resulted in profound negative health care outcome disparities and patient care experiences for historically marginalized communities of color. 

We also recognize the role unconscious or implicit bias influences attitudes and stereotypes that affect understanding, actions, and decisions on an unconscious level. These biases develop over a lifetime, but we often are unaware how implicit biases can compromise diversity and inclusion efforts in healthcare administration, research, and healthcare delivery. By learning how to identify and confront unconscious bias in yourself and others, it is possible to mitigate the impact and promote respect for all.

CMCA is committed to serving as a primary driver and partner in the Department of Medical Education’s Racism and Bias Initiative. The spirit of the initiative is to explicitly address and undo racism and bias in all areas of medical education. The School is committed to racial justice, health equity, and elevating underrepresented voices and experiences of our medical education colleagues.

The Racism and Bias Initiative is driven by a change management methodology that guides how we engage, prepare, equip, and support individuals and the entire School to successfully adopt transformational change. The goal is a future state of providing healthcare and education that is free of racism and bias.

To that end, the Institute for Equity and Justice in Health Sciences Education, purpose is to support and enhance an anti-racist, anti-oppressive learning, training, and work environment in medical, biomedical, and health professions education.

The Mount Sinai Health System’s Road Map to Address Racism is a system-wide initiative that includes a series of recommendations that could lead to a transformational and enduring response to systemic racism. The resulting Road Map contains recommendations for six principles and 11 key strategies and supporting initiatives to create authentic and sustainable change at MSHS. The Road Map also recommends a structured framework to implement and monitor the initiatives, as well as a system of shared measurement to track their progress.

Our Commitment to the Future Healthcare Workforce 

The Patricia S. Levinson Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs (CMCA) is committed to sustaining a grow-our-own approach with a rich and broad portfolio of talent and youth development programs in science, medicine, health care administration, and other health care careers. This way we are leveraging our Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awards as a Health Career Opportunities Program (HCOP) and as a formerly funded Center of Excellence (COE). We are also building on our sister units within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) that include the Center for Excellence in Youth Education (CEYE) and Corporate Health System Affairs (CHSA). The goal for each of our programs is to expose, enrich, and provide the guidance necessary to develop competitive applicants for professional education programs and enable the pursuit of successful career pathways.  

Some of our other signature sponsored programs and events include:

  • Visiting Electives Program for Students Underrepresented in Medicine (VEPSUM) Fellowship
    We offer four-week elective opportunities to a limited number of qualified fourth-year medical students who attend a U.S. medical school and are from underserved backgrounds. Email vepsum@mssm.edu to learn more.
  • Northeast Regional Alliance MedPREP program is a free summer enrichment program for under-represented and/or economically disadvantaged college students interested in the medical field. Contact info@neramedprep.org for more information.
  • Administrative Fellows Program, offers a two year Administrative fellowship for recent minority graduates from master’s level programs (e.g., MHA, MHP, MPH, MPP, MBA, or equivalent degrees), and prepares early careerists for leadership-track positions within the Mount Sinai Health System. Email diversity@mountsinai.org to learn more.
  • Annual Fall ISMMS Open House and Revisit Weekend 
    Held annually in the fall, this is a major outreach activity geared at minority high school and college students and working professionals interested in a career in medicine and science. The weekend helps participants gain the information and resources necessary to become successful medical and graduate school applicants. Email cmca@mssm.edu to inquire about future dates.

Our Commitment to Our Students

We work to cultivate, integrate, and advance the principles of diversity and inclusion in the systems, structures, policies, and practices of ISMMS through curriculum affairs, student affairs, admissions, and medical student research in the medical and graduate school. This way, we help all students to thrive equitably. CMCA is committed to medical and graduate students who self-identify from groups under-represented in science and medicine (URiSM). We offer a range of academic and non-academic support resources that purposefully integrate the social determinants of medical and graduate education in the structures, policies, and practices. We design our resources to provide holistic and equitable support to enable all, and most especially URiSM students, to thrive from matriculation to graduation.

Finally, we are committed to providing a learning platform upon which all medical and graduate students can explore MD or PhD education and beyond. We designed our learning platform to give students opportunities to gain experience working at the intersection of medicine and science, and social justice using an urban health lens through research, teaching and education, service and advocacy, and community engagement.

Our Commitment to Our Faculty Who Are Underrepresented in Medicine and Science   

Since 2002, the CMCA has been led by Ann-Gel Palermo, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office in Education and Research, the Faculty Scholars Program (FSP), a highly individualized career development and coaching program for faculty members who are underrepresented in medicine and science and equip and prepare them with the necessary tools, information, and resources for success in academic medicine.

The CMCA works collaboratively with the following institutional partners to foster a thriving work and learning environment for faculty development and growth: