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UTGSM Announces Two New Positions, an Ombuds and a Physician Leader in Diversity and Inclusion

The Graduate School of Medicine is pleased to announce two new positions, an Ombuds and a Physician Leader in Diversity and Inclusion, starting on June 1, 2022. Dr. Joan Rentsch from the University of Tennessee will be the new Ombuds and Dr. Kenyon M. Railey will be the new part-time Physician Leader in Diversity and Inclusion while maintaining his status as an Associate Professor at the Duke University School of Medicine. 

The purpose of the GSM Office of the Ombuds is to provide a confidential, safe space for GSM faculty, fellows and residents to discuss issues and perceived problems free from any possible retribution and to provide them an informal, independent, and impartial channel of problem resolution that is an alternative to formal processes. As GSM Ombuds, Dr. Rentsch will assist with dispute management and resolution in the context of organizational policies and procedures. She will help to facilitate informal conflict resolutions and provide referral and access to appropriate resources and processes, among other responsibilities.

Dr. Rentsch is currently Adjunct Professor at the GSM and Professor of Communication Studies at The University of Tennessee. Her previous positions include Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Communication and Information and Professor of Management in the Haslam College of Business. Dr. Rentsch has published in the areas of psychological processes of organizations, teams, cognition, and measurement of schemas. She has served on editorial boards, grant review boards, and on research review panels, and has garnered grant support from the National Science Foundation, the United States Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the United States Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She has received training from the International Ombuds Association, and in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) from Duke University Integrative Medicine and Brown University, and is certified as an MBSR teacher by the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

In the role of Physician Leader in Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Railey will serve as a resident and faculty mentor; meet regularly with the Department Chairs, the Chief Resident Council and others to discuss the means to expand diversity and achieve greater equity and inclusion; deliver lectures at various Departmental meetings; advise GMDEC; assist with planning Disparities Awareness Month-2023; and collaborate with the new joint UHS/GSM Health Equity Research Working Group among other responsibilities. Dr. Railey previously participated in the first Disparities Awareness Month held at the UTGSM in early 2022. He will visit our campus several times a year and participate in meetings and lectures with the help of remote platforms. He will continue to serve as Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Duke School of Medicine as well as Medical Director of the Duke Physician Assistant Program.

Dr. Railey graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2001. He received his MD degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 2005 with a Special Distinction in Community Service. Dr. Railey completed residency training in Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2008. He began practicing at Duke Primary Care in 2008 and joined the Duke Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in 2013.

Dr. Railey served as Assistant Chief Diversity Officer in the Duke School of Medicine Office of Diversity & Inclusion from 2013 until 2020 and is the inaugural Director of Diversity & Inclusion for the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. He received the Duke Office for Institutional Equity "Spring Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion" Award in 2014 and the Henry Lee Treadwell Award for Recognition of Excellence in Teaching from the Duke Physician Assistant Program in August of 2015. He completed the Duke Teaching for Equity Fellowship in 2017, a yearlong curriculum for educators engaged in issues of race and identity. In 2020, he was nominated to receive the Duke Ahead Master Clinician/Teacher award and was tasked by the Dean of the School of Medicine to serve as Co-Chair of the Anti-Racism Task Force focused on Health Professions Education.

The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine is looking forward to benefiting from the contributions of both Dr. Rentsch and Dr. Railey.

Posted June, 9 2022


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