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Four medical students at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) were named to the Geisinger Diversity and Inclusion Council. The council includes a cross section of representatives drawn from Geisinger’s more than 33,000 employees. The GCSOM students will provide a voice for Geisinger’s 400 medical students. 

According to Vicki T. Sapp, Ph.D., director of student engagement, diversity and inclusion and a faculty member at GCSOM, the students will provide insights about their experiences during clerkships – the “rotations” medical students must complete in various clinical settings during their third and fourth years of medical school. 

Geisinger’s Diversity and Inclusion Council is a new initiative just launched in January. Dr. Sapp, who also sits on the council, said its purpose is to define what diversity and inclusion mean at Geisinger and then to examine the experiences of Geisinger patients, members, employees and students to be sure they correspond to the vision. Where there are gaps, the council is tasked with devising ways to close them. The GCSOM students will provide invaluable feedback and suggestions to support the overall effort.

“Our first task will be to critique current diversity mission statements and to hold focus groups to give us a picture of the learner experience – the perspectives on diversity and inclusion of students and residents,” Dr. Sapp said. “The council’s goal is to be sure that, together, we achieve Geisinger’s mission of providing culturally competent care and developing and sustaining a diverse workforce. I am proud that our students will make such an important contribution to that vision.”

The GCSOM students named to the Geisinger Diversity and Inclusion Council are:

  • Kezia Ellison of Pittsburgh, a fourth-year student
  • Shailly Gaur of Sayre, a fourth-year student
  • Somiah Almeky of Shavertown, a third-year student
  • Nicole Parellada of Orlando, Florida, a third-year student
DI Council
From left: Kezia Ellison; Shailly Gaur; Somiah Almeky; Nicole Parellada