“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.”
—Lucy Maud Montgomery
Early June is perfection. The weather is beautiful with blue sky days, before the real heat and humidity of summer rolls in. This past weekend’s gorgeous weather here in Ohio made for a wonderful backdrop for all those outdoor, early summer activities.
The month of June signals important reminders of landmark events in the history of diversity and inclusion in the United States. Every June, many Americans enjoy Pride Month in celebration of the activism and the lives of members of the LGBTQA community. Pride commemorates the Stonewall Riots that took place after members of the LGBTQA community successfully confronted and disrupted the violence of homophobic community members and police officers in Greenwich Village. The month also commemorates Immigrant Heritage Month, recognizing the many contributions of immigrants to our country, from which almost all of us ascend. Finally, on June 19, we celebrate Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation, which celebrates the emancipation of almost 250,000 enslaved Africans in 1865. This was almost 2 years after the actual Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
Lately, my calendar is filled with opportunities to meet with many of our community partners, a welcome change from my first few months here, when the COVID surge prevented in-person gatherings. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with our partner health systems and have made three trips to visit our rural health partners in the area around the Lake Campus. We are gearing up to welcome students back on campus in mid-July, and the Office of Student Affairs is planning an in-person convocation at the Masonic Center. BSOM leadership, including all of our associate deans and chairs, will meet at an outdoor retreat center later this month to lay the groundwork for the next year and beyond, as we prepare for a strategic planning process that will kick off this fall. Over the past six months, as I’ve met with so many in BSOM and in the broader community, I’ve developed a vision to kick off the next decade at BSOM. That vision is summarized below.
• Will be a force for good in the region and a national model of community-based medical education
• Will be recognized as a center of medical and clinical expertise in the region
• Will lead the state in retaining graduates to practice in Ohio and choose primary care fields as well as other ‘front line’ fields
• Will be fully compliant with all accreditation standards, using a model of continuous quality improvement
• Will actively partner with our students and residents and be open to change when needed to respond to our learners’ needs
• Will be a sought-after partner for research and scholarship
• Will be a noted leader in population health
• Will be a beacon of diversity, equity, and inclusion through the education of staff, faculty, and students and by working with the Greater Dayton community to reduce health inequities.
• Will fully engage with our community partners to make health and life better in the Miami Valley and beyond.
Even as dean, I’m just one person, and such a vision is just one person’s vision. We must develop a vision together, one that we all want to embrace and move toward, and this will be the goal of the fall planning process. The whole community will be involved, so stay tuned!
Very soon, I will be sending out a six-month “check-in” survey, since I’ve recently passed the six-month mark here at BSOM. I’d like to know what I need to do more of, what I need to do less of, and will welcome any other words of advice you have for me.
I hope you will take time to enjoy this beautiful month and enjoy time with your family and friends.
With gratitude for all you do for the BSOM community,