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VCOM Students

Virginia Diversity Resources

Vision Statement

We will build bridges using education and respect as the foundation to foster lasting positive relationships within our VCOM community. We will create both educational and support initiatives to combat disparities and structural racism in the workplace, classroom and clinical settings. This will equip our future doctors and provide them with a voice to remove social injustice in the healthcare system and the communities they will serve.

Our Commitment

  1. Foster an environment that enables all students, faculty, and staff to feel valued, respected, and safe.
  2. Engage our faculty, staff and students in methods to recognize personal biases.
  3. Support advancement of curriculum to address culture specific medical situations.
  4. Seek to strengthen our existing recruitment practice and our commitment to foster opportunity for future students from all populations.
  5. Strengthen our commitment to address health disparities as they relate to diverse populations that become disadvantaged, be committed to a culture of inclusion in serving our communities and patients, engaging our faculty, students, and staff to recognize these needs and to advocate for equal access to quality healthcare.
  6. Promote multicultural/cross cultural events on our campuses that recognize our diverse student body, faculty, and staff.
  7. Provide a safe environment where faculty, staff, and students can engage in conversations that will lead to a positive impact to support diversity and inclusion.
  8. Support and host discussions that highlight educational opportunities and insight into diversity and inclusion to create a support system for all faculty, staff and students to learn and grow in a manner that all feel engaged, valued and respected.

Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion

The Diversity Officer also meets with the Diversity Committee that includes various student minority organizations and representatives of a diverse student body to hear their concerns in a safe space, and assist with planning to address the concerns in a positive manner that supports both the students and the College as a whole. The Diversity Officers will be available to meet with students, faculty or staff to address concerns in confidence.

VCOM’s Diversity Officers serve as a conduit of information with the Campus Dean and higher administration on suggestions for positive change toward improving inclusion on campus and in the community, to promote equal access to health and healthcare and reduce healthcare disparities.

Upcoming Events

Past Events

  • January 19, 2023 - ACOS-MSS Beyond the Medicine: Mentorship in Medicine

  • January 18, 2023 - ACOP & BAHM Beyond the Medicine: Pediatric Gun Violence

  • December 16, 2022 - SGA presents Celebrations of Cultural Diversity

  • October 17, 2022 - LGBTIA+ Inclusive Healthcare: Adverse Childhood Experiences and Healthcare Outcomes with Suzie Pease, M.ED

  • October 13, 2022 - LGBTIA+ Inclusive Healthcare: Beyond the Medicine: Reducing Healthcare Related Harm due to Stereotypes

  • October 10, 2022 - SNMA: Multicultural Showcase Event

  • September 26, 2022 - SAAO: Beyond the Medicine: Social Determinants of Health and COVID- 19 presented by Dr. Rebecca Hester

  • August 30, 2022 - HCMO: Beyond the Medicine: Community Health Clinics Serving Hispanic Populations

  • August 18, 2022 – AMWA: Unraveling Gender Disparities Within Medical Leadership

  • August 10, 2022 – SOMA Social Medicine The Gardners’ Tale ( allegory to illustrate racism and potential ways to address racism)

  • August 4, 2022 – HCMO Medical Spanish Workshop

  • August 4, 2022 – LGBTQI+ Inclusive Healthcare Town Hall

  • July 21, 2022 – SNMA, HCMO, MMSA Welcome Mixer

  • June 18, 2022 – NAACP Youth Juneteenth Event – Health Screening Prevention and Education

  • June 18, 2022 – Christiansburg Institute Juneteenth Event- Health Screening Prevention and Education

  • June 17, 2022 – SNMA : Juneteenth Cookout and Educational Event

  • May 27,2022 – SOMA: Social Medicine Discussion

  • March 22, 2022- Healthcare for Gender Non-Conforming Individuals- Featuring patient stories and guidance for future providers

  • March 1, 2022 – William G. Anderson , DO, Black History Month Series: Making your Mark in Medicine
  • February 24, 2022- Medical School and Mental Health Conversation with Dr. Mona Massod
  • February 24, 2022 – Trauma Informed Support – Make a difference & combat sexual violence on campus
  • February 14, 2022- How to be Antiracist – Book Club Discussion
  • January 20th , 2022  - What is LGBTQ+ and Safe Space?
  • January 19th, 2022 – SNMA Presents: A Systems Perspective of Healthcare Disparities Facing Refugees During Resettlement
  • December 7, 2021 - How to Practice Modest Medicine hosted by MMSA
  • December 3-4, 2021 - Region VI Medical Education Conference: Bridging Global Healthcare Disparities
  • November 15, 2021 – The Look- Driving Change Through Conversations
  • September 15, 2021 - Medical Spanish Workshop with HCMO
  • August 27, 2021 - SNMA & HCMO Multicultural Showcase
  • March 8, 2021- Health Disparities Series: Breast Cancer
  • February 25, 2021 – William G. Anderson, DO, Black History Month Series: Undefeated: Defying the 4% hosted by SNMA.
  • February 3, 2021 – Cookies and Cocoa and poster display to recognize prominent African Americans who made advancements in Medicine hosted by SNMA.
  • Jan. 20, 2021 - What is LGBTQ+ and Safe Space?
  • Jan. 21, 2021 - Health Disparities Series: The ‘Other Variables’ Contributing to the COVID- 19 Pandemic
  • Jan. 18, 2021 - Black Docs Talk Shots Webinar by Eventbrite
  • Jan. 18, 2021 - Human Trafficking and the Medical Professional Webinar
  • Dec. 2, 2020 - Health Disparities Series: Maternal Fetal Health
  • Nov. 2020 - A Race & Medicine Webinar with Abraham Hardee, DO
  • Oct. 13,  2020 - Health Disparities Series: Colon Cancer in African Americans
  • August 12, 2020 - Conversations in Diversity in Medicine and Professionalism: Unconscious Bias with Barbara Ross-Lee, DO

Diversity Officer Duties

  1. Convene and Chair the Diversity Committee each block, facilitating their success in meeting the goals of the Committee.
  2. Serve as a conduit for the representatives of a diverse student body to meet, hear their concerns in a safe space, and assist with planning to address the concerns in a positive manner that supports both the students and the College as a whole.
  3. Serve as a conduit of information with the Campus Dean and higher administration on suggestions for positive change toward improving inclusion on campus and in the community.
  4. Provide educational documents to employees, students, and staff on an ongoing basis that support positive change to promote equal access to health and healthcare and to reduce healthcare disparities.
  5. Meet with representatives from SNMA, HCMO, VRHA, and other VCOM student professional committees that support improved healthcare for all to assist in planning of events and education; and to hear concerns or recommendations for improvement.
  6. Assist the Dean and administration in resolving any issues that occur on campus or in the community at large that will negatively impact students, faculty, or staff from a specific population as it relates to diversity and social injustice.
  7. Serve as a positive leader for students, faculty, and staff in solving problems and resolving issues that arise from time to time as related to diversity and injustice.
  8. Meet with the Diversity Officers on each campus (via zoom) one time per block so to plan College-wide events, education, and to discuss items of concern across campuses.
  9. The Diversity Officers from each campus will also meet two to four times per year to recommend positive change for the institution as a whole to create positive change for Diversity and Inclusion across campuses.

2022-2023 Diversity Committee – VCOM Virginia

Position Name
Chair Kim Gittings, RN, BSN, CCM, Virginia Campus Diversity Officer
Member Whitney Stokes, Associate Dean for Student Services
Member Sofia Abraham-Hardee, DO PhD, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs
Member Katherine Jamison, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVE, Associate Dean for Pre-Clinical Medical Education
Member Mary-Karla Ballen, Staff Accountant
Member Edward Magalhaes, PhD, LPC, Counselor and Assistant Professor for Psychiatry
Member Abraham B. Hardee III, DO/PhD, Associate Chair for Primary Care
Member Louann Morrow, Director for the Southwestern Virginia Rural AHEC
Member Lisa Leichner, Director for Admissions
Member Amariah Sledge - President of the Student National Medical Association
Member Andrew Simpson - President of the Hispanic Community Medical Outreach
Member Austin Bryant - President of the Christian Medical and Dental Association
Member Elizabeth Moomaw - President of the Virginia Rural Health Association
Member Ahmad Al-Husseini - President of the Medical Muslim Student Association
Member Zachary Clements - Student Representative for Sex and Gender Identity
Member Araba Wubah - Student Representative Third Year Class
Member Nicole Stephens, Volunteer Student Representative
Member Nathaniel Shelburne, Volunteer Student Representative
Member Michelle Barrett, Director for Student Affairs


The Diversity Committee VCOM Virginia is available to meet with students, faculty or staff to address concerns in confidence. If you have an issue that you would like to address, feel free to email

We in the Diversity Office want to be an advocate for students and staff at VCOM. One of our goals is to allow for persons to express themselves in a manner that makes everyone feel heard and appreciated. Messages sent to the Diversity Office email will be discussed initially by Diversity Committee members only. There are times that matters brought to our attention will need to be referred to the proper department for resolution.  If your desire is to maintain anonymity please understand this may limit our ability to completely address and make aware to administration, HR or student services the need for change. Racial discrimination, Harassment and Violence  issues should be referred to the Title IX officer. Please refer to the Employee and Student Handbooks for further explanation.

Student Organizations VCOM-Virginia

Who are recognized by VCOM and meet on VCOM Campus

Student organizations are open to all students and typically have educational and outreach programs that promote cultural awareness, diversity and inclusion, as well as community-building or educational outreach for medically underserved communities or populations or in socio-economically reduced areas.

The following organizations are nationally recognized medical organizations that also have local student chapters. While they are not sponsored by VCOM, their chapters meet on the VCOM campus and perform community service.

American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)

The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) at VCOM-Auburn Campus fosters and embraces the interest in women’s health issues and the role women have in healthcare.

Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA)

The Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) at VCOM provides students with opportunities to grow in their faith, connect with Christian physicians locally, participate in service, and develop an awareness of Christian resources related to health issues. The CMDA holds Bible studies and meetings in which local Christian doctors share their experiences in medicine and life. All students, regardless of their faith or belief system, are welcome to attend meetings and to participate in events sponsored by the CMDA. The organization exists to serve Christ together and support one another throughout the adventure of medical school. As followers of Christ, CMDA strives to serve and love fellow students, the community, and the world.

Hispanic Community Medical Outreach (HCMO)

The Hispanic Community Medical Outreach (HCMO) organization at the Virginia Campus is dedicated to promoting health to the Hispanic community through education and increasing access to care. HCMO’s medical outreach initiatives involve health screenings and osteopathic treatment for Hispanic populations. In addition to community outreach activities, HCMO also works to promote cultural awareness by organizing fun social events. Finally, HCMO is dedicated to improving the Spanish language skills of the VCOM student population, as well as encouraging involvement and preparation for medical mission trips to Spanish speaking countries to increase the capabilities of VCOM’s future physicians.

LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Healthcare

The mission of Students for LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Healthcare is to create a culture of inclusion and acceptance by providing educational programs and resources with the goal of optimizing quality, cost-effective healthcare for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and all gender minority people.

Medical Muslim Student Association (MMSA)

The aim of the Medical Muslim Student Association (MMSA) is to bring awareness to the medical community about healthcare issues unique to Muslim patients and to connect students with upperclassmen, VCOM alumni, and medical professionals. The organization also provides outreach through health education and provides resources to the local community to enhance the delivery of healthcare.

Student National Medical Association (SNMA)

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) was started to address the issues and concerns of both minority medical students and minority communities, both of whom are underrepresented in healthcare. While being an underrepresented student is not a requirement for membership, the organization focuses on creating opportunities for VCOM students to engage medical minority populations through community health initiatives.

More Student Organizations

Student organizations and committees are a very important part of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). The service performed by members of student organizations benefits not only the community and the region but also the members, as they gain valuable knowledge, skills, and experience in patient care.

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