The Northeast Ohio Medical University Board of Trustees held its quarterly meeting Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, via Zoom. Below are highlights from the meeting:
President John T. Langell noted that while some difficult decisions were needed, NEOMED remains in solid financial shape during the pandemic. The University is introducing a zero-based budget plan for the first time, helping NEOMED become efficient as possible while aligning with mission-critical items.
Dr. Langell praised the many employees who contributed to the opening of student health services in mid-November. The facility is currently serving students, and is working to expand its offerings to the community, including opioid addiction services.
There have been 29 students (majority off-campus) and nine faculty/staff members that have tested positive for COVID since March, as seen on the dashboard. The NEOMED campus has not experienced many positive cases thanks to safety measures put into place and the campus community’s commitment to adhering to the guidelines.
Dr. Langell also remarked on the excellent partnership with Youngstown State University and its President Jim Tressel for creating six full scholarships for underrepresented minority (URM) students who plan to attend NEOMED through the early assurance program.
Dr. Langell announced that 88 NEOMED employees have completed Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification, adding that the University’s goal is to eventually have all faculty and staff become yellow and green belt certified.
Kali A. Meonske, director of Public Safety and chief of the NEOMED Police Department, then discussed the importance of training for mental health calls and the need for officers to be involved in the community. The Crisis Intervention Team training has helped NEOMED officers de-escalate situations on campus and is an important component of their officer education.
Meonske noted that the NEOMED Police Department regularly participates in community engagement such as Take Your Child to Work Day and Safety Town. They collaborate with local schools, and even assist with returning lost dogs to their homes. The services they provide are far reaching and extensive.
Daniel S. Blain, vice president for advancement, thanked donors who have helped since the start of the pandemic. He also recognized successes of the new Jay A. Gershen Scholarship for URM Medical Students, and the new Future Pharmacists Fund and the Student-Run Free Clinic fundraisers on Giving Tuesday, held Dec. 1.
Advancement will be focused on five fundraising “buckets” moving forward – Exceptional Student Experience; Building a Diverse Community; Leadership in Health Care; Discovery, Research and Innovation; and Service to the Community.
Roderick L. Ingram Sr., vice president for communications and chief marketing officer presented on brand guidelines and the importance of maintaining editorial style to bring consistency to all University communications.
Elisabeth H. Young, M.D. (’85), vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, commented that despite the pandemic, the LCME timeline is on-track with the College planning to submit the briefing book in January 2021, participating in a LCME virtual Limited Site Visit in February, and receiving a notification of findings in June 2021.
Dr. Young also noted that the Class of 2021 had 99.2% Step 2 first-time passage rate, which is well above the national average. She added that the performance of first-year medicine students has improved both by University metrics and national testing standards under the new curriculum.
AuBree R. LaForce, fourth-year medicine student, and Joshua L. Tidd, second-year medicine student, student representatives of the Board of Trustees, offered praise to Dr. Young and the College of Medicine faculty and staff on their work with LCME and updated curriculum.
Steven P. Schmidt, Ph.D., vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies recognized the 88 NEOMED students who presented scholarly work at the Student Research Symposium on Nov. 27. The event was a success and provided students with the opportunity to speak about their phenomenal research.