The Mass General Neurology Diversity Committee helps the Neurology Service ensure a welcoming and supportive environment to all employees. We want to hear from you!

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Our Mission

The Massachusetts General Hospital Neurology Diversity Committee’s mission is to continue fostering gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, religious, and cultural diversity in our community through informed patient care, recruiting practices, and community outreach educational programs.

LEADING THE WAY: From left, Dr. Anne B. Young, Dr. S. Allen Counter Jr., Dr.  Lee Schwamm, Dr. Joan Y. Reede,  Dr. Merit Cudkowicz

The Anne B. Young Diversity Visiting Scholar Award

The Mass General Neurology Diversity Committee is delighted to announce the creation of the Anne B. Young Diversity Visiting Scholar Award. This recognition will be given periodically to individuals or groups who contribute to understanding or improving gender, race and ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, and/or religious diversity in Neurology.  The public announcement of this award came during the Mass General Neurology Bicentennial Celebration on October, 13, 2011.

Awardees will be invited to share their experience with the Mass General Neurology community during a visit that will include giving Grand Rounds and spending time with trainees. The Committee is excited to name the award after Dr. Young, celebrating her great accomplishments improving diversity in Neurology at Mass General and beyond.

Dr. Young continues to inspire a growing number of women to pursue Neurology careers around the globe. She is the first female chief of service at Mass General Hospital, and has made tremendous progress recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in Neurology at our institution. Dr. Young is the only person to have been both President of the Society for Neuroscience, and the American Neurological Association. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded the Joseph B. Martin Dean’s Award for Leadership in Advancement of Women at Harvard Medical School in 1999.

Neurology and Diversity

The diverse culture that we currently enjoy in Neurology makes us better in three areas.

Patient care

We understand that being aware of our patients’ cultural perspectives can have a positive effect on their level of comfort and success in their care.


Researchers come from all over the world to do research with the Mass General Neurology research community.  At the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (just one of our research communities) researchers come from China, India, Russia, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, France, Germany, Italy, and more.

Work Environment

In our day-to-day interactions, our staff members exchange cultural experiences and perspectives that keep us curious, interested, and excited about learning, and having new experiences. This is certainly one of the characteristics that makes the Mass General Neurology Service one of the best places to work.

Outreach Activities

The Mass General Bicentennial Scholars

March, 2012

Dr. Liang Yap was selected to become a mentor for the Bicentennial Scholars Program, which was created to underscore the hospital's 200 year legacy as a world-class teaching and research instituion dedicated to the diverse communities that it serves. Based on the belief that there is a direct correlation between educational attainment and one's overall health status, the Mass General Bicentennial Scholars Program works with 26 selected students from Boston, Chelsea and Revere who are interested in pursuring careers in the health professions. The Program's mission is to provide Scholars with college preparation, career exposure and paid internships, along with transition-to-college programming for Scholars and their families, as well as ongoing academic and mentoring support through college completion.

Dr. Liang Yap is a mentor to one of these talented scholars - Nancy Figueroa, Class Valedictorian at East Boston High School: "I am extremely honored to partner with Nancy, who is a wonderful young woman from Puerto Rico with interests in engineering, math and science.  My goal is to provide her with the best guidance and skills in resiliency throughout her college years at her dream school. Of course, I also hope that we will have lots of fun as we embark on her exciting journey."

Summer 2012

Massachusetts General Hospital Multicultural Affairs Office Summer Research Trainee Program (SRTP)

Three Neurology Service faculty members will be preceptors for students underrepresented in medicine this Summer. Dr. Teresa Gomez-Isla will be preceptor for Mauro Caffereli of University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Oksana Berezovka will mentor Nicholai Henry of Emory University, and Dr. Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili, will work with Atasha Jordan.

We asked Dr. Sadri-Vakili about her decision to precept Atasha Jordan, a third year undergraduate student at Harvard University. She is mentoring Atasha on the role of transcriptional dysregulation as a pathogenic mechanism underlying Huntington’s disease. Dr. Sadri-Vakili commented “It is a pleasure to be involved in the SRTP program. My hopes for Atasha are that she will have a positive and enriched learning experience in my lab this Summer. It is important for her to not only learn about Huntington’s disease but also to develop strong laboratory skills and how to approach and address scientific questions. Her project has been designed carefully in order to expose her to multiple laboratory techniques and to maximize her interactions with laboratory members.  She is a bright young woman and has impressed me with her curiosity and profound questions. My interactions with her have thus far been very rewarding and I am very excited to be a part of this wonderful program.” 

Please contact the Neurology Diversity Committee if you are interested in mentoring students for the Summer of 2013.

Richard J. Murphy Middle School

December 19, 2011

The Mass General Center for Community Health Improvement invited Dr. Kenneth Sassower to participate in a Mass General Youth Programs speaking engagement at the Richard J. Murphy Middle School in Dorchester, MA. This was an interactive program for 6-8th graders to learn about various health and STEM ("Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics") careers. After the students discussed the value of learning about the five sensory modalities a week earlier, Dr. Sassower helped lead the Youth Program discussion on how the five senses can be helpful in arriving at a specific neurologic diagnosis. The group was assisted in the construction of their very own individual stethoscope and a detailed discussion ensued as to how the sense of audition can help one to arrive at an accurate medical diagnosis.

As Dr. Sassower's own beeper rang during the group talk, the Youth Program members asked about the importance of carrying a beeper for medical reasons. Several medical questions from the group were addressed at the end of the program, and issues related to migraine headaches and stroke prevention were raised. Both the youth group and Dr. Sassower concluded the day's activities by relating their mutual enthusiasm and eagerness for a return visit in the not-so-distant future. The Mass General Youth Programs "aim to educate young people in Boston from elementary through high school about health and science subjects and expose them to related careers in order to equip them with the knowledge and skills to excel in life and career. Boston hosts a highly diverse student population, 39% of whom are African American, 37% Hispanic, 13% Caucasian, and 9% Asian". Learn more about the Mass General Youth Programs.

Science Club for Girls

December 15, 2011

The Mass General Center for Community Health Improvement invited Dr. Marie Pasinski and Dr. Maria Lopez-Bresnahan to participate in a Mass General Youth Programs panel on health and STEM ("Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics") careers to 20 high school students from the Science Club for Girls. They shared their roles at the hospital, educational/training backgrounds, and how they became interested in medicine.

Dr. Pasinski was thankful for this meaningful way to give back: “Like the girls themselves, our five-woman panel was diverse in background as well as the experiences that led us to pursue our chosen professions. We offered a window into a broad scope of medical related careers including: biomedical engineering, computer/health care interfaces, physical therapy, pharmaceutical research/business and clinical medicine/teaching. The girls’ questions ranged from the academic requirements for various careers to those that led to conversations about juggling family life, finding mentors and the importance of being open to new experiences and ideas. One young woman asked if there was ever a time we felt overwhelmed or considered quitting. It was truly an enriching experience for all”.

Dr. Lopez-Bresnahan felt "it was a privilege to talk to this diverse group of girls about the opportunities available to them in science and medicine and then to actually show them some our high tech capabilities at Mass General. The girls were engaged in the session, asked relevant questions and raised some interesting points. I would have liked to have spent more time with them, breaking up into smaller groups in order to address their questions more extensively. Our goal was to expose them to the possibilities available to them and the girls responded very enthusiastically to the breadth of information we presented. The more we can offer them this type of exposure, the better." The Mass General Youth Programs "aim to educate young people in Boston from elementary through high school about health and science subjects and expose them to related careers in order to equip them with the knowledge and skills to excel in life and career. Boston hosts a highly diverse student population, 39% of whom are African American, 37% Hispanic, 13% Caucasian, and 9% Asian". Learn more about the Massachusetts General Hospital Youth Programs.

Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center

October 5 - November 9, 2011

Dr. Liang Yap collaborated with the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center to produce a six-week educational program in the Fall of 2011 for clinicians on "Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, and Stroke: An Educational Program for Health Care Providers in the Boston Asian Community" which was presented in the Boston Chinatown area. Dr. Yap commented: "We had worked with the GCBGAC on a variety of outreach programs for their staff for a decade, and were thrilled when they invited us back to establish another series of training programs for professionals who work with the Asian elderly community in Boston. In fact, we are already brainstorming ideas for an innovative training series with these communities for the coming year".

Dr. Nicte I. Mejia was invited to speak on "Diversity Issues in Neurologic Care" on September 19, 2011, and found the activity refreshing: "It was fantastic to connect with providers from very diverse backgrounds who aim to provide the most culturally-appropriate care to their patients in the Boston Asian Community. Participants were engaged and excited to learn about diversity issues related to neurologic care. It would be a privilege to be invited to participate in this initiative for years to come".

Mass General Summer Jobs School Partnership

August, 2011

The Mass General Center for Community Health Improvement invited Dr. Nicte I. Mejia to participate in an Mass General Summer Jobs School Partnership presentation on pursuing health careers for 100 teenage students visiting our hospital. Dr. Mejia "truly enjoyed this opportunity to share her career path experiences with a very enthusiastic audience of students from diverse cultural backgrounds who are attracted to pursuing health and research careers". The Mass General Summer Jobs for Youth "provide summer employment to Boston-area youth, exposing them to health-related careers and fostering career development. In 2011, Mass General employed 148 Boston youth, and approximately 100 Mass General employees served as supervisors to these students".

Who We Are - Diversity Committee Members

Janet L. Caruso, BA Nicte I. Mejia, MD (Chair)
David W. Chen, MD Marie E. Pasinski, MD
Tracey A. Cho, MD Natalia S. Rost, MD
Juan J. Estrada, MBA Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili, PhD
Alice W. Flaherty, MD, PhD Vanya I. Sagar
Steven M. Greenberg, MD, PhD Kenneth C. Sassower, MD
David Holtzman, MD, PhD Lee H. Schwamm, MD
Florence Lai, MD Reisa A. Sperling, MD, MMSc
Maria V. Lopez-Bresnahan, MD Nagagopal Venna, MD
Steve G. Massaquoi, PhD, MD Kimberly Wilbur, MBA
  Liang Yap, PhD (Vice-Chair)


Diversity Resources

Diversity Training

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) E-Learning Seminar:
What You Don't Know: The Science of Unconscious Bias and What To Do About It in the Search and Recruitment Process

Employee and Faculty Resources at Mass General

Center for Faculty Development

Center for Community Health Improvement

Disparities Solutions Center

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Employee Resource Group

Multicultural Affairs Office

International Office

The Untold Story: URM Pioneers at Mass General Hospital (PDF slide show)

Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital

Association of Multicultural Members of Partners

Department of Psychiatry Diversity Committee at Mass General

Harvard Medical School Office for Diversity Inclusion & Community Partnership

Harvard University Office of the Senior Vice Provost Faculty Development & Diversity

Healthcare and Patient Services at Massachusetts General Hospital

Center for Community Health Improvement


Disparities Solution Center

Medical Interpreters Services

Office of Patient Advocacy

Patient Care Services Diversity Program

Contact Us

E-mail Us:Neurology Diversity Committee

Nicte I. Mejia, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Department of Neurology
Diversity Committee
55 Fruit Street, WACC-835
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-724-9234
Fax: 617-726-4101