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Diversity, Inclusion Vital to NMC’s Role in Community Health

Posted by Sara Giboney Thursday, Mar. 10, 2022

Diversity, Inclusion Vital to NMCs Role in Community Health

The Center for Diversity and Community Engagement (CDCE) at Nebraska Methodist College (NMC) creates a more inclusive community and addresses barriers to health equity.

“Community engagement has always been a big part of what NMC does. Our mission is to positively impact the health and well-being of the community,” said Dr. Deb Carlson, president and CEO of NMC. “It became increasingly evident that diversity needs to be more than a goal. It needs ownership and accountability. The CDCE was created so there would be a focused effort on both. The CDCE will benefit NMC by ensuring that the College continues to grow in our community and diversity impact.”

The CDCE works to create an inclusive environment where the NMC community can build a culture of belonging and engagement, reflective of the greater population we serve.

Kiley Petersmith serves as the director of the CDCE.

The Center coordinates meaningful and mutually beneficial community engagement experiences to address diverse college and community needs, creates positive social change towards equitable health and cultivates active citizen leaders.

“Our work is and has been focused on holism - understanding that health can only be achieved when physical, mental and social factors are considered part of the whole, and the community that surrounds us is a significant aspect in promoting and maintaining health,” Petersmith said. “We are all interconnected. We use this mindset to guide the care we provide, addressing barriers that prevent equity in health.”

NMC works with 75 community partners providing community and clinical outreach. Those organizations include local schools, daycares, homeless shelters, the Intercultural Senior Center, Girls Inc., health departments and more.

Belonging Builds Community

In addition to the CDCE, NMC has updated its diversity, equity and inclusion mission and strategy statements.

Mission Statement: Strengthening the College’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is vital to NMC’s mission of positively impacting the health and well-being of the community through quality healthcare education and community engagement.

Strategy Statement: As an institution educating future healthcare professionals, NMC recognizes the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive learning environment and preparing our students to enter their professional practice with a strong foundation for providing care with respect and equity to diverse populations.

As an employer, NMC strives to create an environment where people feel valued and empowered at work. NMC is committed to honoring one another’s differences and upholding our culture of caring and empathy.

As an organization committed to creating positive change through community outreach, we recognize the value of deepening our impact by working with organizations that provide services to diverse groups of people. We’ll continue our efforts to partner with organizations and public entities that uplift communities in need.

Diversity Statement: Nebraska Methodist College respects the dignity and inherent worth of all people. We value inclusion, diversity, equity, social justice and human rights. We accept the responsibility to educate individuals to foster cultural diversity and inclusivity in their professional practice.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

NMC’s Social Justice and Inclusion Council addresses issues of diversity and inclusion by offering implicit bias training and monthly forums for staff and faculty. 

Past presentations from the Council have included “Microaggression Awareness and Resistance” with Dr. Ferial Pearson, “Inclusive Communities” training and “Busting our Biases.”

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are important at Nebraska Methodist College because it helps every student and employee show up each day without fear of being their true selves. The more diverse the college becomes, the better we’re able to serve the needs of the healthcare community. NMC is a place where YOU belong,” said Dr. Deb Carlson, president and CEO of NMC.

NMC participates in events such as the annual Pride Parade, World Refugee Day and the Omaha Freedom Festival for Juneteenth. The College also participates in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. 

Bringing Students Together

NMC strives to make students feel like they belong, whether they’re on campus or online.

In a 2023 survey, 99% of students say they have never been discriminated against at NMC because of their sexual orientation.

Of the students who took the survey, 86% said they agree or strongly agree that DEI is important at NMC. 

To help bring students together, they can join affinity groups on campus.

NMC offers:

  • BIPOC Affinity Group
  • LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group
  • Social Justice and Inclusion Student Ally Group.

To create a more welcoming and safer campus community, NMC also offers inclusive options in our language for names and pronouns.

The Chosen Identity Policy allows students to submit a preferred name and gender when they are registering as a new student and in Brightspace, our online learning platform.

Preferred student identities are used when communicating with students through paperwork, system operations and surveys. 

Students, faculty, staff and other members of the campus community are encouraged to report student concerns and/or situations that may be in conflict with established standards of behavior as outlined in the College Code of Conduct. If members of the campus community are exhibiting concerning behavior that may result in harmful, threatening or disruptive conduct, or if you have a concern or complaint about something at the College, file a report here.

Contact Kiley Petersmith at (402) 354-7138 or with questions.

Topics: community wellness, diversity, equity and inclusion

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