Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine Announces Groundbreaking New Initiatives to Further Advance Gender Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
- Latest Actions Build on Racism, Bias, and Gender Equity Initiatives and Expand National Leadership Role Among Medical Schools - Icahn launches New Policy Requiring All School Educational Panels to have Women and/or Members of Underrepresented Groups
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, an international leader in medical and scientific training, biomedical research, and patient care, today announced the latest series of important steps aimed at promoting gender equity and diversity in medicine. These initiatives build on the strong history of Mount Sinai’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and gender equity, which includes the creation of the nation’s first Dean for Gender Equity earlier this year, the creation of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) in 2014, the decade-long efforts of the Office of Women’s Careers, and the successful Racism and Bias Initiative launched in 2015. This record has helped Mount Sinai earn the No. 1 Ranking in Diversity and Inclusion in the “Top 12 Hospitals and Health Systems” list by DiversityInc in 2017 and 2018.
The latest initiatives include developing a robust new organizational statement on diversity, engaging in school-wide listening tours, launching a new policy of only hosting and organizing medical and educational panels that include women and/or underrepresented groups, and other initiatives.
“As critical conversations about equity happen nationwide, it is incumbent on institutions, both inside and outside medicine, to rigorously examine their policies and climate, pinpoint ways to improve, and take action. At the Icahn School of Medicine, we have been and are continuing to do just that. We do not just want to be actively engaged in these important conversations; we want to build on our successes and continue to lead on equity, diversity, and inclusion issues,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “In medicine, equity and excellence go hand in hand, and with these groundbreaking new initiatives, we hope to send an unequivocal message that tackling inequity is essential in training the next generation of medical leaders so that they can deliver best-in-class medical care. We are proud of the steps we have already taken—including appointing the first-ever Dean for Gender Equity at a medical school earlier this year and launching our unique Racism and Bias Initiative. But we know there is always progress to make and always more to do.”
Inclusion on Icahn School of Medicine Panels
Furthering the institution’s commitment to diversity in all academic activities, the Icahn School of Medicine is launching a new policy, effective January 1, 2020, that it will only host and organize panels that include women and/or members of groups underrepresented in science and medicine. To achieve equity in medical education, it is critical to elevate the voices of women and underrepresented groups in that discourse.
An Enhanced Statement on Diversity
The Icahn School of Medicine has always maintained a commitment to promoting and supporting diversity in its working and learning environments in order to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff, and the communities it serves. Today, the School’s Diversity Statement has been significantly expanded and updated. The new statement will be reviewed internally once per year, and that process will include engagement opportunities with students, faculty, and staff to deliver input so that—when and where necessary—it can evolve.
The new statement builds on Mount Sinai’s groundbreaking Racism and Bias Initiative launched in 2015, an effort that recognizes the effect of racism and bias in medicine and medical education and the perpetuation of inequities in health care outcomes for historically marginalized patient populations.
“Medicine undoubtedly has gaps for inclusion in its physician workforce and leadership as well as in delivering quality care for underserved populations, and we are determined to continue to lead the change. While we have had many successes in recent years, we also know that the work cannot stop, and that to achieve genuine equity, we have to constantly build on our successes and improve our efforts,” said Gary C. Butts, MD, Dean for Diversity Programs, Policy, and Community Affairs.
Creation of a Dean for Gender Equity in Science and Medicine
The School has a proud history of gender equality and inclusion among our leadership, faculty, and students: many of the School’s leaders are women, and 63 percent of graduate students and 45 percent of the faculty are female. For nearly a decade, the Office for Women’s Careers – led by Sandra K. Masur, PhD and part of the Office of Gender Equity – has worked to foster an environment to assure that women faculty succeed in research and clinical careers at Mount Sinai. Earlier this year, the Icahn School of Medicine named Carol Horowitz, MD, MPH, a Professor of Population Health Science and Policy and of Medicine, as its first Dean for Gender Equity in Science and Medicine. Dr. Horowitz is the first Dean for Gender Equity among academic medical centers in the United States. She will spearhead efforts aimed at closing gender gaps if and where they exist within the institution. This will include reviewing and enhancing equity in compensation and career advancement; implementing new processes and policies to recruit and retain the highest-caliber faculty of all genders; and moving towards more faculty-friendly parental leave policies, improved child care offerings, and lactation accommodations in each of the School’s departments and across the eight hospitals that make up the Mount Sinai Health System.
Recognizing that more must be done to achieve full equity in the health care industry, School leadership will continue to conduct listening tours across the School for students, trainees, and faculty. The sessions are aimed at having substantive, safe conversations about enhancing the Icahn community, while identifying actionable ways or policies that can be implemented in order to constantly improve the institution.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.
Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties.