Diversity & Inclusion Awards

In May 2013, more than 300 OHSU staff, faculty and students at OHSU and community partners gathered for the first Diversity and Inclusion Awards recognition event, held at the Portland Art Museum. The event celebrated exceptional and exemplary work of members of the OHSU community in advancing the values of diversity, inclusion and equity across the university, and among the greater community.

Profiled below are the people and teams honored with the 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Awards. Click to see photos from the awards event.

Connie Kim Yen Nguyen-Truong, Ph.D., R.N., P.C.C.N.

Outstanding Alumna

Connie Kim Yen Nguyen-Truong, Ph.D., R.N., P.C.C.N.

School of Nursing, 2011

Connie Nguyen-Truong has an extensive background in community engagement and service for underserved communities. She served as the Principal Investigator for the comprehensive. multi-year Vietnamese Women’s Health Project, a study of disparities in cervical cancer screening rates among Vietnamese American women.

Through her research, Connie developed culturally competent approaches to emphasizing primary prevention and the importance of early detection. In her work, she engaged and empowered community members to have a more active role in their learning process. Working close with community groups and local clinics, Connie seeks to improve access to care among the Vietnamese American community. She serves on the advisory board of the Asian Family Center, which provides multicultural and multilingual support services for low-income Asian Pacific Islanders. She has organized many culturally and linguistically appropriate health awareness events about preventing Hepatitis B and HIV, as well as breast, cervical and colorectal cancers.

Mark Mitchell, M.A.

Outstanding Staff

Mark Mitchell, M.A.

School of Dentistry

As the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the School of Dentistry, Mark Mitchell is responsible for all student recruitment activities, including initial contact in pre-dental programs, admission processes, student orientation, and special events. Since joining OHSU in 2003, Mark has been instrumental in championing diversity through his tireless efforts to attract diverse applicants through outreach to pre-dental students at universities across the United States. Mark understands the challenges that underrepresented and socially disadvantaged students face with possible cultural, financial and educational disparities. He cares deeply about students and their success, and goes the extra mile to provide support, advice and mentorship.

Working closely with dental organizations locally and nationally, Mark advocates for adequately preparing dental professionals to effectively meet the oral health needs of a diverse population. He has been an active member of the American Dental Education Association Center for Equity and Diversity. He led a task force that identified new and innovative strategies to recruiting diverse applicants and building an inclusive campus environment that is welcoming to all.

Dena Hassouneh, Ph.D., R.N., A.N.P., P.M.H.N.P., A.P.R.N.-B.C.

Outstanding Research

Dena Hassouneh, Ph.D., R.N., A.N.P., P.M.H.N.P., A.P.R.N.-B.C.

School of Nursing

Dr. Dena Hassouneh’s scholarly work focuses on two key areas: addressing inequalities in nursing education, and understanding and improving mental health disparities in women. Conducting research in communities that are often overlooked, she has focused on the experiences of women who may be difficult to reach. Her mental health research has included a diverse array of underserved populations, including Muslim women, women in same sex relationships, Latina women, Arab women, and women with disabilities. Through community-based participatory research projects, Dr. Hassouneh and her colleagues developed a program for treating depressive symptoms in women with physical disabilities. This resulted in expanded access to treatment in the Portland and Grants Pass areas.

In addition to her work in mental health, Dr. Hassouneh also has conducted research in health professions education. In 2011, she was selected as one of five national faculty scholars supported by Josiah Macy Foundation Faculty Scholars. This program is designed to identify and nurture the careers of educational innovators in medicine and nursing. Her research has focused on diversity in health professions education, and specifically exploring the experience of faculty of color in medical and nursing schools across 20 states. Recently, Dr. Hassouneh presented her research "Surviving, Resisting, and Thriving: Underrepresented Minority Faculty in Predominantly European-American Schools of Medicine" at the Graduate Diversity Institute of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Dr. Hassouneh also has worked to improve nursing education internationally by helping design and launch a bachelor’s of science in nursing program in the Palestinian territories.

Edward A. Neuwelt, M.D.

Outstanding Faculty

Edward A. Neuwelt, M.D.

Department of Neurology

Dr. Edward Neuwelt is instrumental in championing diversity and inclusion at OHSU through his involvement in outreach and education for diverse, underserved students. He initiated and developed a partnership with Ponce Medical School in Puerto Rico to recruit underrepresented minority for clinical and pre-clinical rotations at OHSU. The goal is to recruit diverse students, while also increasing their interest and awareness of neuro-oncology.

By forming a collaborative relationship with Ponce Medical School, Dr. Neuwelt and colleagues identified the best and brightest students for these fellowships. In recent years, OHSU has hosted first and second-year Ponce medical students to participate in research, fourth-year students for clinical clerkships, as well as graduate students for short research-related internships.

As one of the founders of the "OHSU Partnership for Scientific Inquiry" high school science class, Dr. Neuwelt has helped introduce students from all socio-economic levels to the scientific process through didactic instruction on translational aspects of  neuroscience.

Over the past 27 years, Dr. Neuwelt has been involved in the health promotion and injury prevention in children from kindergarten through high school via the ThinkFirst Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Program. The program has provided more than 40,000 bike helmets at low or no cost to underrepresented minority children in Oregon. Since 1986, more than 300,000 children have been exposed to ThinkFirst.

Amelia Tomlin

Outstanding Student Leadership

Amelia Tomlin

School of Nursing, Ashland Campus

Amelia Tomlin, a graduating student at the School of Nursing Ashland Campus, combines her passion for nursing with a commitment to serving vulnerable populations. She has volunteered countless hours for the Jackson County Health Coalition, which examines the underlying causes of reproductive health disparities among Latina women. Conducting research on the issue of teen pregnancy in Jackson County, Amelia actively engaged young people and their families, and developed effective strategies to address the issues.

Alongside other Ashland Nursing students, Amelia coordinated and developed health screenings and education fairs in the Rogue Valley. She worked with the Latino Coalition in Southern Oregon to form a youth leadership group made up of college- and high-school age students. The group engaged young people in addressing health and social disparities. Amelia is a leading member of the Ashland Student Nurses Association and founding member and current chair of the Nursing Student without Borders club. She has helped the clubs build solid foundations and increase community outreach and service.

Outstanding OHSU Department

Intercultural Psychiatric Program

Intercultural Psychiatric Program

OHSU’s International Psychiatric Program (IPP) helps refugees and asylees to recover from the effects of war trauma and torture within an academic environment of research, teaching and scholarship. Founded in 1977 by Dr. David Kinzie, Professor of Psychiatry, the IPP has provided culturally sensitive health care for more than 36 years, treating refugees and victims of torture from numerous ethnic groups.

The program is the most diverse and largest intercultural program at OHSU. It is also the most successful refugee and torture treatment program in the United States. For more than a decade, IPP’s Torture Treatment Center has received continuous funding from the United Nations and the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. The program serves more than 1,100 patients from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including people from Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe. The program employs a multicultural staff, including five Vietnamese, two Cambodians and a clinician from each of the following countries or ethnic groups: Iran, Bosnia, Iraq, Mien, Ethiopia, Russia, Somalia, Lao and Chile.

Educating physicians in culturally sensitive care has been a prominent feature of the IPP. Every year since 1977, there has been a senior psychiatry resident providing care and receiving training in the program. Even after graduation, many residents have continued to provide care in cross-cultural settings. Many OHSU medical students have benefited from elective experiences with the ethnically diverse patient population and counseling staff.

Outstanding Community Partner

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board is widely recognized throughout Indian country as an exemplary research and policy organization that is responsive to tribal health needs.

Researchers at the NPAIHB, OHSU’s Prevention Research Center and the Departments of Public Health & Preventive Medicine conduct research to improve Indian health, particularly among the 43 constituent member tribes in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. The research carried out by NPAIHB among and for the tribes has been diverse, including topics such as impact of a cancer navigator program to community intervention trials for STD/HIV prevention using video-based strategies for Indian youth. NPAIHB has conducted behavioral risk factor surveys among multiple tribes that have provided critical data to secure later grants, in an effort to address priority Indian health issues. The group’s policy work has resulted in increased access to health care and hugely increased resources at the federal level. Research projects have illuminated social determinants and health disparities among the tribes. The NPAIHB is particularly proud that key research findings have turned into health policy changes among participating tribes.

The NPAIHB has had a very consistent presence in influencing national Indian health policy, including the Indian Health Care Improvement Act signed into law by congress, partly as a result of the research findings from the numerous investigators at the NPAIHB. The board is instrumental in keeping diversity issues for tribal people "front and center" in legislative actions in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and across the country.