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An Update for the Tulane Medicine Community

March 15, 2021

Dear School of Medicine Community,

As was promised in the letter sent last month, we are continuing the crucial work of addressing the challenges raised regarding our BIPOC students, residents, staff, and faculty. We are writing today to share news about our next steps and to announce the consultants who will be helping in the School of Medicine – and by extension the entire campus community.

Sensei Change Associates, LLC has deep expertise in training, facilitation, and leading equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives in both higher education and health sciences and academic medical centers. They are broadly acknowledged as a leader in strategic change. At the end of this note you can find more information on each of the core team members who will be working on this project.

We view the work we are undertaking as foundational, designed to help ensure an organizational culture that values EDI at our very roots. The firm’s focus will include:

  • Confidential interviews, focus groups, and surveys to deepen our understanding of the lived experiences of our students, residents, faculty, and staff relative to racism and sexism.
     
  • Targeted recommendations to help build a more equitable diverse, and inclusive academic community

We continue to be at a pivotal inflection point in our country and university and – while we have made many advances – it is absolutely imperative that we maintain our focus and resolve to create a more equitable and inclusive climate. This work will begin in the next two weeks and is anticipated to continue through June.

An Advisory Committee will provide insights for the firm to help guide their work and to facilitate an expedited understanding of the culture of Tulane’s School of Medicine. This team will include residents and medical students with a focus on BIPOC members of our community and senior members of the administration from both the university and the School of Medicine. Members will include:

  • Anneliese Singh, Tulane University Chief Diversity Officer (Project Director)
  • Rhonda Coignet, Tulane School of Medicine Director of Accreditation and Special Programs
  • Vironka Davis, General Surgery Resident
  • Will Ferbos, Tulane University AVP Institutional Affairs (ex officio)
  • Paul Gladden, Tulane School of Medicine Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education
  • Bennetta Horne, Tulane School of Medicine Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs
  • Mary Killackey, Chair and Professor, Department of Surgery
  • Tonette Krousel-Wood, Tulane School of Medicine Associate Provost for Health Sciences
  • Russell Ledet, Third-Year Medical Student; President and Co-Founder, 15 White Coats
  • Elma LeDoux, Tulane School of Medicine Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
  • Anagha Narayanan, First-Year MD/MPH student, S.L.A.M. Coalition representative
  • Arianne Sacramento, GAPSA President, MD/MBA/MPH student
  • Will Smith, First-Year Medical Student, TUSOM SNMA member
  • Alumni Representative, to be identified soon

Throughout this process, we intend to engage students, residents, faculty, staff, and alumni in the School of Medicine to inform our path forward to create a community that is living our EDI and anti-racism values in all we do. This task ahead is not easy – but we will lean into these crucial conversations and actions to make changes and ensure the success of BIPOC members of our community.

Sincerely,
Robin Forman, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Anneliese A. Singh, Associate Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development

Sensei Change Associates, LLC Tulane Team:

CEO/President and Founder, Diana J. Wong’s expertise is in strategy and developing learning programs for improving organizational performance. With an extensive international background, Dr. Wong focuses on supporting leaders and management teams with strategic planning and meeting facilitation, organization development, leadership development, executive coaching, training and development, cross-cultural competency development and organizational learning systems.

Dr. Wong earned a PhD in organizational strategy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an MBA in Finance and International Business from Dalhouse University, Halifax. Dr. Wong is a full-time faculty as an Associate Professor at Eastern Michigan University and actively serves on four non-profit boards related to alleviating poverty.

Executive in Residence, David Brown, MD has deep expertise and leadership for organizational change related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For the past five years he has served as the Associate Vice President for the University of Michigan School of Medicine and for the past seven years as Associate Dean for health equity and inclusion.  

A member of the U-M faculty since 2011, he is member of the Society of University Otolaryngologists Ad Hoc Diversity Committee, and a U-M Global REACH faculty associate who collaborates with colleagues at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana.

Partner and CFO, Wayne Millette, EdD provides executive coaching, facilitation and training in DEI, and IDI leadership assessments. He is actively engaged with leadership development with a strengths-based approach and positive-organizational psychology. He also served as Director, Office of Faculty Life, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan.

Millette earned his doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Master’s degree in Sociology from Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta and bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania.

Senior Consultant, Kelly E. Beattie, MSc HROD provides training and facilitation to address organizational change. She is certified in crucial conversations, IDI, and various 360 assessments.

Beattie earned a Master’s of Science in Human Resources/Organizational Development from Eastern Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from College of St. Benedict.