Diversity & Inclusion
Consistent with the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists (2003), the fellowship program defines diversity as, “aspects of identity stemming from gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or age.” The program further acknowledges the multicultural identities of individuals, which reflect intersections between the “dimensions of race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, class status, education, religious/spiritual orientation, and other cultural dimensions” (p 380). Multicultural competency, inclusion, and equity are critical to functioning effectively within our healthcare systems and beyond. As such, the fellowship program instills a commitment amongst its faculty and fellows to self- and other- multicultural awareness, sensitivity, and competence.
Setting & Population Served
Clinical experiences occur at sites affiliated with Hurley Medical Center and Genesee Health System, and are reviewed and approved by the fellowship Program Director.
All fellows participate in activities at the following sites, which support service to a richly diverse population:
- Advanced Neuropsychology and Pediatric Psychology Services (ANPPS) is an outpatient behavioral health center. Fellows provide outpatient-based assessment and intervention services for a variety of pediatric, clinical health presenting problems. The patient population consists of children, adolescents, and young adults who are primarily African American and Caucasian, and reflect diversity in gender, sexual orientation, disability status, socioeconomic status, level of education, health beliefs & behaviors.
- Genesee Health System’s Neurodevelopmental Center of Excellence (NCE) is an assessment center that serves Genesee County children, young adults and their families. Fellows provide neurodevelopmental assessment services for children with diverse clinical presentations (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, lead exposure via Flint water supply and other sources). The patient population consists of children, adolescents, and young adults from a wide variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and reflect diversity in gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability status, socioeconomic status, level of education, health beliefs & behaviors.
One fellow annually participates in activities at one of the following two sites:
- Hurley Children’s Center (HCC) is a busy ambulatory medical setting. It is the site of the Michigan State University-affiliated pediatric residency continuity clinic, adolescent medicine clinic, and several other pediatric-specialty clinics. Alongside physicians, nurses, social workers, a dietitian and case managers, fellows provide integrated primary care services including assessment, triage, and intervention. Fellows also provide consultation and education to residents and providers. Fellows share a large common workroom to foster clinical collaboration with residents and faculty. Within this setting, there are also opportunities to engage in research, quality improvement projects, and curriculum development. Fellows are an integral member of the primary care teams. The patient population consists of children & adolescents who are primarily African American and Caucasian, and reflect diversity in gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability status, socioeconomic status, level of education, health beliefs & behaviors.
- Hurley Children’s Hospital at Hurley Medical Center (HMC) is a 42-bed children’s-designated hospital within the larger, community-based and non-profit teaching hospital, Hurley Medical Center. Hurley is a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center and considered a regional leader in pediatrics and related medical education. Fellows at this site provide consultation-liaison services to inpatients in the general pediatrics, pediatric intensive care, antepartum, postpartum, and burn units. Fellows provide consultations at the bedside. The patient population consists of children, adolescents, and young adults who are primarily African American and Caucasian, and reflect diversity in gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability status, socioeconomic status, level of education, health beliefs & behaviors.
The mission of the Diversity Committee is to expose faculty & fellows to diverse populations, broaden their understanding of cultural factors relevant to professional practice, & enhance cultural humility and competence. Fellows and faculty from the four Flint-based postdoctoral fellowship programs comprise the Diversity Committee. Meetings are held monthly. Each year, the committee creates a calendar of fellow-facilitated events, which are developed on a rotating basis by fellows from each of the four Flint-based postdoctoral fellowship programs. Fellows have the opportunity to select the topic, format, and speakers or methods they believe will further the diversity committee’s mission. Events vary from year-to-year in an effort to promote relevant, timely, and fellow-driven educational experiences. The faculty facilitators also coordinate one diversity field trip per year, where fellows and faculty spend a half-day offsite engaged in an experiential activity related to diversity.
Diversity and Inclusion within the Training Program
Diversity and inclusion are deliberately woven into all elements of the fellowship program and training experience. In this way, the fellowship program supports recruitment and maintenance of diverse individuals, continuously strives to maintain a safe and inclusive environment, and continuously advances fellow and faculty’s culturally competent practice. The integration of diversity and inclusion is reflected in the inclusive and culturally sensitive procedures, policies, and practices described throughout the program manual. Efforts to promote diversity and inclusion that are not reflected elsewhere within the manual include the following:
- An annual guided tour of Flint including landmarks, population composition, historic events, and current revitalization efforts
- An annual incoming resident and fellow-wide cultural sensitivity training session
- Anonymous, web-based program feedback form that enables program faculty, staff, and fellows to raise comments, concerns, and/or suggestions regarding diversity & inclusion anytime
- Decisions regarding educational and employment opportunities, as well as performance evaluations are made on the basis of merit and without discrimination
- Designated spaces for spiritual reflection or prayer at Hurley Medical Center; midday protected time and flexibility in work hours outside of 8a-5:30p can support religious activities
- Hurley Medical Center and Genesee Health System are equal opportunity (EEO) employers, ADA compliant, and adhere to ADA regulations
- Frequent opportunities for non-clinical interactions with other Flint-based postdoctoral fellows in psychology, medical residents, nurses, and interprofessional faculty
- Insertion of diversity & inclusion as a standing agenda item, reviewed at all fellowship program meetings. Seasonally, the standing agenda item includes diversity and inclusion as it applies to recruitment, faculty/mentor retention, faculty- and fellow’s cultural competence as reflected in practice, program requirements and offerings, and the program curriculum
- Interpreter services within all clinical practice settings
Strategic Vision to Continuously Enhance Diversity & Inclusion
The fellowship program is committed to ongoing strengthening of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The following strategic initiatives are in place to enhance and advance the program’s diversity, equity, and inclusion:
- Annual review of program policies, procedures, and materials to ensure promotion of diversity and an absence of bias or discriminatory practices
- Dedication to training fellows in multicultural competence who can then further related practices in their respective places of employment after fellowship completion
- Engagement at the systems level (e.g., dialogue, policy development, education) to promote inclusion & multicultural competence
- Evaluation of supervisors, fellows, didactic sessions, and the program in relation to culturally competent and inclusive practices
- Ongoing dialogue regarding opportunities for diversity & inclusion enhancement at the graduate medical education, clinical department(s), clinical settings of practice and institutional levels. Engagement occurs through active participation in Hurley Medical Center’s Culture of Wellness Committee, Graduate Medical Education’s Wellness Subcommittee; the Departments of Pediatrics and Behavioral Health; and staff meetings for each clinical practice site
- Routine discussion of culturally-informed practices within the context of professional development, as well as clinical, educational, and scholarly activities
- Routine exposure to diversity in patient populations, faculty composition, colleagues, staff, and mentors