Our Programs
Office of Diversity and Community Relations

The Office of Diversity and Community Relations coordinates several community outreach, diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives. Click on the links below to learn more.

Community Outreach Programs

Perry Initiative

The Perry Initiative partners with medical centers, universities, and high schools to host Perry Outreach Programs for young women in high school, college, and medical school. These day-long programs are held at different locations nationwide throughout the year. Participants perform mock orthopaedic surgeries and conduct biomechanical engineering experiments, while also hearing from prominent women engineers and surgeons in the field.

Community and Minority Outreach

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

PCOM Science and Math Summer Academy

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (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 Science and Math Summer Academy (formerly known as the PCOM Opportunities Academy). Click on the links below to read more:

DLC STEMprep Project Training Program

The DLC STEMprep Project Training Program targets racial groups that have been historically underrepresented in the medical professions for their population size, and who face a health disparities gap. The program supports a pool of gifted students from minority populations with a training model from seventh grade through senior year of college. The students are rotated through basic science labs in academia, the National Institutes of Health, and the pharmaceutical industry.

The program is designed to produce candidates for medical degrees and dual medical/PhD programs, with comprehensive training initiatives that span the junior high school, high school, and college summers, using an integrated developmental regimen that prepares the students to successfully pursue a research career in medicine. High school students work in a laboratory, learning research skills.

Admissions Community Research

The curriculum for 9th and 10th graders involves students working in basic science laboratories in an academic/university setting under the direct supervision of assigned mentor/research scientists for 8 weeks during the summer in the Philadelphia area. Utilizing the skills learned in 7th and 8th grade, high school students conduct experiments on a specific area of their mentor’s project. PCOM faculty from the Pennsylvania campus has been serving as mentors for this part of the project since 2010, mentoring about 10-13 students each summer.

  • High school students work in a laboratory, learning research skills.
  • Students are assigned to a PCOM medical student who serves as a mentor.
  • Students are given a presentation on admissions to PCOM.

PCOM contributes to the community by partnering with organizations such as The Distance Learning Center. The DLC is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities (African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and mainland Puerto Ricans) in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM). This year PCOM faculty members in the biomedical sciences department are mentoring students from the DLC.

Diversity and Inclusion Programs and Initiatives 

The Diversity Speaker Series at PCOM

Diversity speakers series at pcomThe Diversity Speakers Series is intended to provide insight and understanding of multicultural issues to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine community. This series is designed to introduce an essential component of education in helping audiences consider perspectives other than their own, encouraging civil debate, broadening the basis for critical thought and promoting cultural understanding.

The Office of Diversity and Community Relations at PCOM strives to provide an avenue to promote ethnic diversity and multicultural awareness through increased interaction with high profile multicultural scholars, dignitaries and personalities on our campus.

For more information on The Diversity Speakers Series at PCOM, contact:

The Office of Diversity and Community Relations
Rowland Hall, Suite 415

Featured Speakers

Wayne A.I. Frederick, MD, MBA
Marci Bowers, MD


Rising Above Expectations
The 21st Century Challenges of Health Equity

Diversity Speakers series

When Cultures Meet

When Cultures Meet is a one-day workshop which blends dynamic merging culture exercises, thought-provoking strategic frameworks, and concrete application activities.  The workshop answers the question: How do we meet the challenge of combining unique strengths of the parts to create a more powerful and effective whole?

After a day of engaging, thought-provoking exercises where participants are able to get a better understanding of what other people in the organization are facing, they walk away with:

  • A deeper understanding of the human issues involved in the meeting of two or more cultures
  • More confidence in their ability to function effectively in that process
  • An appreciation for the value of organizational cultures different from their own
  • A recognition of the implications of being “dominant” and “other”
  • A concrete framework for developing vibrant communities that maximize the contributions of its members


PCOM's SafeZone program is open to all faculty, students, administrators and staff.


LGBTQA Inclusive Healthcare Training

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

Diversity program training

Learning objectives include but are not limited to:

  • 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.

LGBTQA inclusive healthcare training session

PCOM hosts diversity training programs throughout the year.



To provide a safe, supportive network for faculty, staff and students to share successful best practices, research, and personal stories that encourage open and inclusive campus climates for LGBTQIA individuals.


To foster understanding of the LGBTQIA community and their health needs and to integrate them into the campus culture. This will be achieved by providing information on professional development opportunities, successful practices, and a support network for professionals of all identities as they advocate for all students, whether LGBTQIA-identified or not.


Council Contacts

Georgia Campus LGBTQIA Co-Chairs

Beth Levine
Email: elizabethlev@pcom.edu

Tamara Scaccia
Email: tamarasc@pcom.edu

Pennsylvania Campus LGBTQIA Co-Chairs

Marcine Pickron-Davis
Email: marcinepi@pcom.edu

Yuma Tomes
Email: yumato@pcom.edu


Community Outreach Council

PCOM's Community Outreach Council includes faculty, administrators and students who lead community service initiatives and programs in the Philadelphia and the Greater Atlanta Georgia communities. The Council meets quarterly to explore opportunities to collaborate across the college and to advance PCOM’s mission to expand its footprint in the community.

The psychology and osteopathic medicine departments collaborated to create a community action program called “Water Your Child’s Brain.” This initiative was created to provide a parent-child education program for underserved communities within the Philadelphia area. It aimed to provide parents with simple tools to promote their child’s brain development and growth. The goal of the program was to provide an environment for caregivers that allowed them to come together to learn about these topics, both from educators in the field and from one another. Parents and caregivers were provided education, tips, and tools while also fostering a safe and constructive environment to discuss their concerns, obstacles, challenges, and successes of parenthood.

Denah Appelt

The Summer Academy marks the cornerstone of a partnership that spans the academic year, with PCOM faculty collaborating with faculty from ASPIRA Schools and Esperanza College on professional and curriculum development and the establishment of practicum and research opportunities. During the fall 2017, PCOM co-sponsored a Science Symposium at the high school to provide exposure to health careers through workshops and events to guide students towards careers in healthcare. Dr. Denah Appelt, (Biomedical Sciences) facilitated a workshop on the topic “Unraveling the Biological Mysteries of Alzheimer’s Disease."

Diversity and Cultural Sensitivity Workshops


To advance PCOM’s goals to support a culture of open inquiry, pluralism, and mutual respect among students, faculty, and staff, the Office of Diversity and Community Relations (ODCR) partnered with the Blue Door Group, a Philadelphia-based non-profit to offer a workshop for members of the Diversity and LGBTQIA Councils to participate in a dialogue to:

  • Engage participants in open, honest dialogues about social identities like race, gender, and socioeconomic status; and
  • Build the stepping stones of critical self-awareness that is essential to culturally competent practice.

Cultural sensitivity workshop

The workshop will be available to all members of the PCOM community on the Philadelphia and Georgia campuses.



Additional Programs

The Office of Diversity and Community Relations works with various groups to present additional programs of interest to the PCOM community. Examples include:




Event Photos  

The Student National Medical Association Leadership Conference was held Saturday, September 30, 2017. The When Cultures Meet event was co-sponsored by the Office of Admissions and the Office of Diversity and Community Relations.