The formation of a Department of Psychiatry Diversity Committee was inspired by the creation of a hospital-wide Diversity Committee.

There have been a number of important milestones since the Committee's formation:

  • 1997: Former Mass General President Dr. James Mongon creates a hospital-wide Diversity Committee
  • 1998: Former Psychiatry Department Chair Dr. Ned Cassem responds to Dr. Mongan's initiative and convenes the Psychiatry Diversity Committee
  • 2012: The Department of Psychiatry’s Diversity Committee became the Department of Psychiatry Center for Diversity

The Department of Psychiatry was the first, and for many years the only, department at Mass General to create a formal committee dedicated to diversity issues. Over the last 15 years, the Department of Psychiatry diversity initiatives have been a model for others within the hospital and community.

The transition to a Center for Diversity—led by founding members Dennis Norman, EdD, ABPP; Ranna Parekh, MD, MPH; Jerry Rosenbaum, MD; Estee Sharon, PsyD; Barb Siftar; Chet Pierce, MD; Deb Washington, RN, MSN; and Albert Yeung, MD—expanded on the previous mission of the Committee to include intercultural education, mental health disparities research and wider collaborations in the hospital and community. The Center was awarded the “Partners in Excellence Team Award” in December 2011 for this work.

Former leaders of the Diversity Committee have included David Henderson, MD (1998-2002), Jerry Rosenbaum, MD (2002), Gregory Fricchione, MD (2002-2007) and Ranna Parekh, MD, MPH (2007-2015), who oversaw the transition from Committee to Center. Nhi-Ha Trinh, MD, has served as Director of the Center for Diversity since 2015.

Members of the Psychiatry Center for Diversity. Front row (l to r): Ricardo Vela, MD; Nhi-Ha Trinh, MD, MPH; Katia Canenguez, PhD, EdM; Lisa DuBreuil, LICSW; 2019 Bonner Award Recipient Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD; Carol Bonner, MSW, MBA, EdD; Dale Murphy; Michele Morris. Back row (l to r): Derri Shtasel, MD, MPH; Aisha Usmani, PhD; Anne Emmerich, MD; Sheila O’Keefe, EdD, Laurie Ball, MM; Stan Saulny; and Paul Murphy.