Diversity Programs and Initiatives | PCOM Philadelphia Campus
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Diversity Programs 
PCOM Philadelphia Campus

The Office of Diversity and Community Relations at PCOM's Philadelphia, PA location coordinates various community outreach, diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives throughout the year.

Signature Events and Programs

PCOM's Community Wellness Initiative (CWI) was founded to create educational and health services programming that support health and wellness in communities surrounding the College's locations.

CWI programs and events provide opportunities for PCOM students and staff to engage in patient care, community health education and research.

The Community-Based Research Faculty Fellowship was created by the Office of Diversity and Community Relations in partnership with the Division of Research and the PCOM Library.

Funding is awarded annually to faculty members who engage community-based organizations and PCOM students in collaborative research studies. Preference is given to proposals that focus on inter-professional initiatives and allow multiple students to volunteer with research duties.

Examples of studies and engagement projects include examining vaccine COVID hesitancy in local communities and exploring health services barriers in rural communities.

PCOM has partnered with the Mazzoni Center, a Philadelphia-based organization, that offers medical trainings on LGBTQIA inclusive healthcare. The training is designed for physicians, physical therapists, physician assistants, medical students and providers in non-medical settings seeking medical information about LGBTQ communities.

Learning objectives include:

  • Differentiate among the categories of sex at birth, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation;
  • Establish a working knowledge of LGBTQ terminology and identities;
  • Understand the differences between medical, legal and social transitions for transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals;
  • Apply three clinical tools for improving services for TGNC patients using case examples;
  • Identify health disparities among TGNC communities and develop tools to increase LGBTQ access to culturally competent care.

Our office hosts multicultural scholars and dignitaries to lecture on health-related diversity issues in order to bring insight and understanding to the PCOM community. These lectures and discussions are designed to educate audiences to consider perspectives other than their own—encouraging civil debate, broadening the basis for critical thought and promoting cultural understanding.

Past lectures include:

Women's History Month Lecture

Velma P. Scantlebury, MD, the first African-American female transplant surgeon shared her experiences in medicine with the PCOM community.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture Series

Dorothy E. Roberts, University of Pennsylvania School of Law, George A. Weiss University, Professor of Law, presented on "Unconscious Bias in Medicine."

Christopher Coleman, diversity and inclusion expert and founder and CEO of Unconfined Life Institute, presented "Rising Above Expectations" to the PCOM community.

Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, PhD, Vice-Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn School of Social Policy and Practice, discussed "The 21st Century Challenges of Health Equity."

The LGBTQIA Council, Office of Diversity and Community Relations, and LGBTQ Alliance of Students Organized for Health (LASOH) host a welcome reception for all first-year DO and graduate LGBTQIA students at the beginning of each school year.

Group of four female students and faculty smile while holding pride flags at the 2019 LGBTQIA Welcome Reception event
About the award

The President’s Leadership in Diversity Awards recognize the achievements of graduating students who have made significant contributions to advance diversity and inclusion at PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia.

Award criteria

Recipients have implemented initiatives which cultivate, advance or model diversity and inclusion within the College community. Nominees are evaluated by a committee of faculty and staff using the following criteria:

  1. Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, including but not limited to: establishment of an annual event or program; community outreach or engagement; providing a distinctive service to the PCOM community; research to advance diversity and inclusion in medicine.
  2. Sustainability of an above mentioned initiative.
  3. Ability to engage others in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
  4. Be in good academic standing.
Award winners

PCOM's Employee Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Award is presented annually to one faculty member and one staff member who have exceedingly worked to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at the College. Honorees are nominated by their colleagues.

Any employee or student can nominate a member of the faculty or staff for an award; individuals can also self-nominate.

View past award recipients:

Pathway Programs

PCOM is working to help raise interest in science, technology, engineering and math—plus medicine (STEM+M) at the high school and undergraduate level through its Opportunities Academy.

During the one week summer program, students will build their resume and college applications by engaging in labs, networking opportunities and developing their own research presentation alongside PCOM faculty and medical students.

Get involved

The Opportunities Academy takes place each year in June. Philadelphia area high school students can apply now to take part in the PCOM Opportunities Academy:


Contact Alicia Hahn-Murphy at aliciaha@pcom.edu to learn how to get involved.

Read more

Through a partnership between PCOM and Cabrini University, this program aims to offer research opportunities for African American and Hispanic male undergraduate science and psychology students.

Cabrini students work with PCOM faculty, students and staff to be part of medical research teams. Over eight weeks, students learned how to formulate research questions and hypotheses, design experiments, record results, interpret data and present their findings as part of an oral presentation at PCOM.

2022 presentations

PCOM biomedical sciences student Paul Carango presented his work on Alzheimer's Disease and infection at the Experimental Biology Conference in Philadelphia. Coauthors on the research poster included Cabrini University sophomores Nicolas Saporito and Samuel Geathers as part of PCOM's African American and Hispanic Male Undergraduate Research Initiative. Mark Martin, another coauthor, was also a participant in this program and was hired as a full-time PCOM employee after his graduation from Cabrini. The undergraduate students were hosted by Jacquelyn Gerhart and Dr. Denah Appelt.

PCOM and Cabrini biomedical sciences researchers presented their research poster at the Experimental Biology Conference

Read more:

The Office of Admissions provides opportunities for young people to learn about the medical professions, scientific inquiry and more through several innovative Community and Minority Outreach programs and events.

Read more:

Community Partnerships

PCOM is proud to partner with the following Philadelphia area schools and organizations. These organizations may provide volunteer opportunities for PCOM students and staff. Contact the Office of Diversity for more information.

Event Photos

PCOM students smile while sitting at a dinner table during the Diversity Dinner event.
Diversity Dinner
Wide shot of many students and staff talking and dinning at tables during the Diversity Dinner event.
Diversity Dinner
PCOM graduate students, medical students and staff smile and pose at the LGBTQIA Welcome Reception in Evans Hall.
LGBTQIA Welcome Reception
PCOM students write notes of encouragement and love during the LGBTQIA Welcome Reception event.
LGBTQIA Welcome Reception
Dr. Anne Koch speaks with a guest speaker in front of PCOM students.
Transgender Medicine Discussion Series
PCOM students hold up Worlds AIDS Day posters during an event in Evans Hall.
World AIDS Day
A panel of social workers and medical professionals address PCOM students in an amphitheater.
Immigrants, Refugees and Medicine

Note: Photos were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and indoor mask mandates.