Diversity Policies, Plan and Awards

Healthcare disparities continue to exist across socioeconomic strata, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and residence (urban versus rural), despite significant advances in medicine and technology. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1966, "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

Diversity and inclusion are critical if we are to enhance our ability to conduct research and utilize research findings to benefit others; facilitate communication between clinicians, patients, researchers, research participants, students, and colleagues; and ultimately improve the accessibility to and quality of care that is delivered to all.  

Diversity Policy

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine strives to be an inclusive environment, believing that the creative energy and variety of insights that result from diversity are a vital component of the intellectual rigor and social fabric of the School of Medicine. We value and promote diversity in our community of students, faculty, and staff in order to bring varying perspectives to the development of thoughtful physicians and investigators. Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine seeks to enhance diversity within its learning environment and to address health care disparities in our society by ensuring through a combination of pipeline, recruitment, and retention efforts that members of the following groups are an integral part of our academic, research and clinical community: Students, faculty, and senior administrative staff: African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/Alaska Native, and/or Female. 

Diversity Strategic Action Plan

The Office for Faculty Development and Diversity dedicates its time to finding ways in which faculty and staff can strive toward a more inclusive and diverse educational atmosphere. With this Diversity Strategic Action Plan, our goals are made tangible and we are given a clear route to success. Read our goals below and learn how we can continuously work toward building a more welcoming community within the School of Medicine.


Measurable Results

1. Enhance the overall climate to reflect, promote, and welcome diversity principles—the School of Medicine embraces a climate of inclusive excellence at every level.

• Improve climate through a regularly scheduled climate/culture/ engagement survey

• Create/sustain the Inclusive Excellence Advocate program

• Implement and support employee education and engagement activities

• Implement incident portal system to facilitate responsive, transparent and easy reporting of bias-based behavior

• Create opportunities for faculty identity-based groups and student identity-based groups to collaborate

2. Improve and expand content and format of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for faculty, staff and students in the context of professionalism.

• Enhance and expand best/next practice professional development and training for search, promotion, tenure and student-facing committees

• Expand and enhance current career development and academic pathway programs

3. Expand efforts to recruit Under Represented in Medicine faculty, staff and students to School of Medicine—retain, develop and promote strategies to diversify faculty, staff, student and trainees.

• Enhance and expand current mentoring and leadership training programs, tools and networks

• Modify tenure and promotion standards to consider and give credit for diversity-related service and scholarship

• Enhance and expand Diversity, Equity and Inclusion-oriented networking events, lectures and training

• Establish a working group for minority faculty tasked with increasing (and securing) philanthropic, institutional, foundation-based and public funding for research

• Coordinate research and education scholarship about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and under-resourced communities conducted by diverse faculty and students

4. Increase the diversity of the School of Medicine to reflect the changing health-equity needs of an increasingly diverse population and support all students for success in academic medicine and our new national/ cultural milieu.

• Increase the number of minority students entering School of Medicine programs

• Revise School of Medicine curriculum content over time to best reflect the changing demographics and to better integrate cultural humility

• Prepare students for success in and needs of a diversifying patient population and caregiver population

• Support increased participation in student identity-based groups

Diversity Strategic Action Plan Previous Years

Awards for Diversity

In collaboration with the Office of the Dean, the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity presents a diversity award each year to a SOM faculty and staff member for their diversity efforts at the School of Medicine. We are pleased to recognize the following individuals for their receipt of these awards.


Man-Sun Sy, PhD, Department of Pathology (faculty)
Brinn Omagegho, Department of Molecular Biology & Microbiology (staff)


Dana Crawford, PhD, Department of Population & Quantitative Health Sciences (faculty)
Edna Fuentes-Casiano,  Department of Psychiatry, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (staff)


Alex Huang, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (faculty)