We are committed to strengthening Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) within our program, our profession, our community, and our learners.
Our program defines diversity broadly. We acknowledge the multicultural identities of individuals, which reflect intersections between a variety of dimensions - education, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, gender, age, ability, class status, religious/spiritual orientation, and more. We work hard to maintain active roles in strengthening EDI, in seeking to understand and tailor our work to the lived experiences of those we serve, and to ensure our graduates leave fellowship embodying a strong commitment to these principles as well.
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. 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.
EDI within the Training Program
- EDI 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 tailored practices. Our commitment to diversity is reflected in the inclusive and culturally mindful procedures, policies, practices, oversight, and evaluation of the program.
The following are examples of ongoing, intentional actions that our program completes to promote EDI:
- An annual guided tour of Flint including landmarks, population composition, historic events, and current revitalization efforts underway.
- Routine dialogue within one-on-one-supervision about the cultural identities of clinical supervisors versus patients versus fellows versus other interprofessional team members, along with related implications on practice.
- Inclusion of multiple formal didactics and "coffee conversation hours" addressing EDI topics. Examples: responding to microaggressions within the workplace; cultural competency training for behavioral health professionals (modules created by the US DHHS); structural and environmental sources of injustice, inequity, and disparities; advocacy training.
- Mentorship and professional development sessions concerning the importance of self-care, awareness of ones' own lived experiences, and exploration of sources of privilege and power or lack thereof within our own multicultural identities.
- Cultural sensitivity training session for incoming medical residents and psychology fellows.
- Anonymous, web-based program feedback form that enables program faculty, staff, and fellows to raise comments, concerns, and/or suggestions regarding EDI anytime.
- Transparency in the approach to fellow evaluation, sources of data utilized, and in resulting outcomes.
- Participation in at least one community-based activity over the course of the fellowship year.
- Designated spaces for spiritual reflection or prayer at Hurley Medical Center; midday protected time and flexibility in work hours outside of 8a-5:30p to support religious activities.
- Participation in a diversity committee comprised of faculty and postdoctoral fellows in clinical health psychology, rehabilitation psychology, and pediatric psychology that receive their fellowship training in Flint at various medical centers.
- Designated, private lactation space and refrigerators for milk storage.
- Frequent opportunities for non-clinical interactions with other Flint-based postdoctoral fellows in psychology, medical residents, nurses, and interprofessional faculty.
- Priority given to individuals of minoritized and underrepresented groups when offering program positions and applicants are otherwise equitable.
- Appointment of mentors who are not otherwise affiliated with the fellowship program within 1 month of beginning fellowship. Mentors are highly diverse in their cultural identities and areas of professional expertise, but share strong EDI excellence.
- ADA compliance and adherence to ADA regulations in all practice settings.
- Inclusion of EDI as a standing agenda item, reviewed at all fellowship program meetings. Meetings are attended by all program faculty, staff, and fellows. Seasonally, the EDI agenda at program meetings pertains to its application to recruitment, retention, program evaluation, fellow evaluation, supervisor evaluation, wellness, curricular elements, program aims and competencies. Meeting attendees are encouraged to raise concerns, point out biases and opportunities for EDI improvement, and identify EDI-strengthening actions for enactment.
- Availability of interpreter services within all clinical practice settings.
- (Elective) Opportunity to engage in the American Academy of Pediatrics Advocacy Day - fellows usually speak 1:1 or 1:2 with a state representative or senator.
- (Elective) Opportunities to attend Flint City Council Meetings to learn about and participate in community happenings.
Strategic Vision to Continuously Enhance EDI
Efforts to strengthen EDI must be continuous. The following strategic initiatives are in place to enhance and advance EDI within our program and more broadly:
- Annual review of program policies, procedures, and materials by a diversely comprised group in order to a) identify and address items that compromise EDI, and b) identify and enact actions that strengthen EDI.
- Ongoing continuing education and professional development for program staff, faculty, and fellows specific to understanding ones' own multicultural identity and intersectionality, cultural humility, and cultural awareness.
- Dedication to training fellows in multicultural competence who can then further related practices in their respective places of employment after fellowship completion.
- Evaluation of supervisors, fellows, didactic sessions, and the program in relation to multicultural competence and inclusive practices.
- Engagement at the systems level (e.g., dialogue, policy development, education) to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity 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 a myriad of multicultural identities within patient populations, staff and faculty, colleagues, and mentors. Discussion of the role of multicultural identities in relation to pediatric psychology practice within supervision and curricular content.
- Mentorship of minoritized and underrepresented psychology trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels.
- Commitment to routine participation in community-based outreach and community-based listening sessions with Flint-based parents, caregivers, and youth.
- Peer reviewed publications on EDI-related topics. A few examples:
- Bonifacio, K., Cederna-Meko, C. L., Ellens, R. E., & El-Alam, N. (2023). Beyond clinical care: The role of pediatric psychology in supporting pediatrician-completed postpartum depression screening. Accepted in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.
- Nasuh, M., Cederna-Meko, C. L., & O’Connell, L. (October, 2018). Childhood lead exposure: New directives around an old problem. In Hauptman, A., & Salpekar, J. (eds.). Case Studies in Pediatric Neuropsychiatry, 1st ed. (book chapter). Springer Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-3319949970
- Rafee, Y., Burrell, K., & Cederna-Meko, C. L. (August, 2018). Lessons in early identification and treatment from disabling vitamin C deficiency in a child with autism spectrum disorder. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 0(0), 1-10. doi: 10.1177-0091217418791443.
- Inoue, S., Cederna-Meko, C. L., Scherrer, T., & LaChance, J. (April, 2017). Identifying risk for social/emotional difficulty in adolescents with sickle cell disease using the Pediatric Symptom Checklists. Journal of Blood Disorders and Transfusion, 8:377. doi: 10.4172/2155-9864.1000377.
- Sawni, A., Cederna-Meko, C. L., LaChance, J., Ang, J., Nunuk, I., Buttigieg, A, Le, Q., & Burrell, K. (February, 2017). Feasibility & perception of cell phone based, health related communication with adolescents in an economically depressed area. Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, 56(2), 140-145. doi: 10.1177/0009922816645516. PMID: 27207867
- Long-term, routine participation in local and national presentations highlighting EDI. A few examples:
- Cederna-Meko, C. L., Low Kapalu, C., Perry, D., Fogler, J., & Williams, J. (October 2022). Do as I say…and as I do: Prioritizing our wellness and leading by example. Accepted half day workshop to be presented at the Annual Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Conference. Denver, CO.
- Perry, D., & Cederna-Meko, C. L. (December, 2021). Self-Care is not selfish. One of five invited, grant awarded webinars presented on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology of the American Psychological Association in order to support Pediatric Psychologists with the complexities of race, racism, and racial healing.
- Perry, D., & Cederna-Meko, C. L. (December, 2021). Walk a mile in my shoes. One of five invited, grant awarded webinars presented on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology of the American Psychological Association in order to support Pediatric Psychologists with the complexities of race, racism, and racial healing.
- Weber, S., Cederna-Meko, C. L., Cash, S., Ravindran, N., & Fisher, A. (October 2021). One size doesn’t fit all: Teaching learners to deliver culturally responsive difficult news. Submitted pre-conference teaching DBP workshop to be presented at the Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Annual Conference. Dallas, TX.
- Ellens, R. E., Cederna-Meko, C. L., Perry, D., & Myers, B. (September, 2021). Leveraging strengths to enhance training for IPC learners amidst pandemics. Oral symposium presented at the virtual DREAM IPC Annual Conference.
- Cederna-Meko, C. L., Franklin, N., & Perry, D. (March, 2021). Pump up the volume on anti-racism efforts: Opportunities to lead change - who’s got next? Oral symposium presented at the virtual Association for Psychologists in Academic Health Centers Annual Conference.
- Weber, S., Cederna-Meko, C. L., O’Connell, L., & Stefanski, K. (October, 2020). Back to the basics: Teaching and remediating patient-centered interpersonal & communication skills. Workshop presented at the virtual Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Annual Conference.
- Le, Q, Sawni A, Cederna-Meko C, Buttigieg A, LaChance J, Ang J, & Nunuk, I. (October, 2017). Feasibility & perceptions of cell phone based, health related communication with teens in an economically depressed area. Poster presentation at the International Adolescent Health Conference. New Delhi, India.
- Cederna-Meko, C. L., O’Connell, L., Sadler, R., Jankowski, E., Tomkins, L., & Fleming, S. (August, 2017). It takes a village: The story, research, & response to the water-based lead exposure in Flint, MI. Collaborative symposium presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC. View here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYnXRtLtIVw
- Cederna-Meko, C. L. (August, 2017). Severe food allergies in the school setting: Professional and parental perspectives. Invited Speaker, Mid-Michigan East School Nutrition Association Annual Conference. Flint, MI.
- Good, M., Singh, A., Rehman, A., Carravallah, L., Ceja, T., Naraparaju, V., & Cederna-Meko, C. (October, 2016). Extending pediatric developmental screening through faith-based partnerships. Poster presentation at the 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition. San Francisco, CA.
- Cederna-Meko, C. L., O’Connell, L., Marcus, S., LaPlatte, D., & Kramer, A. (October, 2016). Community crisis and community resilience: The children of Flint, Michigan. Symposium presented at the National Conference of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. New York City, NY.
- Cederna-Meko, C. L., Ellens, R., Hanna-Attisha, M., & Burrell, K. (October, 2014). When evidence based practice falls short: Lessons learned from the implementation of an empirically sound pediatric obesity program in an understudied population. Poster presentation at the National Conference in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Lawrence, KS.
- Cederna-Meko, C. L. (October, 2012). From the eyes of a mother: Moments of compassion and opportunities for growth in patient and family centered care. Oral paper at the Association for Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education 42nd Annual Conference. San Antonio, TX.
- Koch, S. M., Cederna-Meko, C. L., Wall, J. (August, 2011). Racial disproportionality and disparity for youth in out-of-home care. Poster presentation conducted at the 2011 National Child Welfare Evaluation Summit. Washington, D.C.