Friday, May 25, 2012

Psychiatry launches Center for Diversity

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY: From left, Albert Yeung, MD, associate director of the Center for Diversity; Parekh; David F. Torchiana, MD, MGPO chairman and CEO; Olayan; Rosenbaum; Estee Sharon, PsyD, associate director of the Center for Diversity; and Cathy E. Minehan, chair of the MGH Board of Trustees

Members of the Department of Psychiatry celebrated its newly established Center for Diversity during a May 21 ceremony in the O’Keeffe Auditorium.

“Over the past two decades, MGH presidents have called on department chairs and hospital leaders to make diversity an institutional priority,” said Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, MD, chief of Psychiatry. “The MGH Department of Psychiatry first responded 15 years ago by creating a formal Diversity Committee. Now we are transforming it into the Center for Diversity.”

The center's new director is psychiatrist Ranna I. Parekh, MD, MPH, who chaired the committee for the last five years. “The center will continue to expand on four areas – intercultural education, research with an emphasis on disparities, mental health research, work force diversity and building partnerships throughout the hospital and community,” said Parekh.

The inaugural celebration featured remarks from Lubna Olayan, CEO of the Olayan Financing Company, a global investment firm with operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East. In her speech, Olayan explained the need to go beyond diversity and embrace equality. “Diversity simply for the sake of diversity benefits no one,” she said. “I would argue that we need to move away from a focus on differences, even if the goal is to celebrate them, and instead focus on equality – gender equality, racial equality, religious equality and equality of opportunity – and also work to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, race or religion, have the opportunity to achieve financial independence and to retain their dignity as a human being.”

Read more articles from the 5/25/12 Hotline issue.


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