The dinner is part of several events being held during the month of October to bridge
Masa’ il khayr, erev tov, buenas noches, habari za jioni, baraka da yamma, sham bakhair,
good evening. Diversity Council member Phillip Palmer, PT, PhD, professor and chair of the Department
of Physical Therapy, welcomed the PCOM Georgia community to a “Night of Inclusion” in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, Swahili, Hausa, Urdu
He said, “Tonight we celebrate the thing that binds us together, our humanity, and
the differences that provide color and texture in the tapestry of life.”
Aisha DeBerry, JD, director of diversity and community partnerships at PCOM Georgia,
said, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being invited to dance.”
Alumni also addressed the participants.
Barbara Joy Jones, DO ’14, a family physician and the vice chief of primary care at
Northside Hospital, said, “I’m happy to see the League of Nations here.” A lead physician
of a primary care group in Peachtree Corners, she encouraged attendees to believe
in themselves and pay it forward by making it through their programs, despite the
“There’s a reason why you’re here,” she said, “And it’s on you to take care of yourselves
Radiologist LaDawn Hackett, MS/Biomed ‘08, MD, a graduate of the biomedical sciences program at PCOM Georgia who continued her education and training at the Medical College of
Georgia and Emory School of Medicine, told students, “I know the walk you are taking.
It’s definitely worth it.”
She added, “The biomedical sciences program is where I got my confidence back—test
by test—and I learned how to study. After I finished here, I had options.”
“Soak it up, get to know the faculty and staff,” she said.
Attendees enjoyed Indian, Jamaican, Korean and Mexican dishes while a DJ played a
wide variety of dance music. They then visited affinity tables, such as interfaith,
African American, first generation and veterans, to converse, share experiences and
learn from others.
Other events in honor of LGBT History Month have included a transgender health session on October 1. Featured speakers were Anne Koch, DMD, and Anna Lisa Deranthal, MS,
who discussed transitioning after gender reassignment surgery. Koch, the author of
It Never Goes Away: Gender Transition at a Mature Age, is an endodontist and the founder and past director of the postdoctoral program
in endodontics at Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
Deranthal works with those experiencing gender identity issues and assists transgender
people through the transition process. She received her degree in professional counseling
from Georgia State University.
National Coming Out Day will be recognized on campus with an event on October 11.
Library and Student Affairs resources will be available and sign-ups for PCOM Safe Space training will be encouraged. Hosted to raise awareness of the LGBT community, the
event is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Community Partnerships and the LGBTQIA
PCOM Safe training will take place on campus October 17 and 24. Open to all students,
faculty and staff, the one-day training promotes acceptance and awareness of gender
identity and sexual orientation within the PCOM community.
Off campus, the LGBTQIA Council will provide resources at the Atlanta Pride Festival
on October 12 and 13. The Atlanta Pride Committee is a non-profit organization for
the LGBTQ community and hosts an annual parade and festival in October.
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant
studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational
excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus
is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine
clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500.
For more information, contact: Barbara Myers Public Relations Manager Email: BarbaraMy@pcom.edu Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: