Dear NEOMED Community:
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade has caused grave concerns for many across the country, including students, staff and faculty at NEOMED. This is a very controversial and emotionally charged topic for many, and I empathize with and share their concerns. At the center of the concerns is the health of women, as well as their rights, both of which are embedded in NEOMED’s mission for which harnessing diversity and improving health are core.
As a medical university, we ascribe to science and evidence-based practices in health care and doing what is in the best interest of our patients. As a result, the ruling also impacts the work we do, how we do it and how students are trained.
We are also a public institute of higher learning, and we support civil discourse. We understand that positions on abortion may vary, and we must treat one another with respect and compassion.
We care about the health of all members of our community. Our utmost concern regarding the ruling is the negative impact the decision will have on the health and wellness of women.
NEOMED supports women and others who may be struggling, hurting and fearful of the consequences of the Roe reversal. In reviewing the decision, we are trying to understand the ways that it may impact our various communities. To the fullest extent allowed by Ohio and federal law, we will be seeking safe, supportive ways to help those in need, staying true to our mission. Concerns are understandably wide-ranging: women’s mental and physical health; the disproportionate impact on poor and minority communities; the practices of our health professionals; approaches to the medical education of students; and coverage by insurance providers.
There are also many uncertainties due the varied decisions by states. And for those who are already suffering financially due to the COVID economy, additional burdens can be devastating. We encourage you to contact your state legislative leaders to ensure your voice is heard and that your advocacy will help shape the Ohio response.
We will continue to monitor the impact and implications of this ruling and will be keep you informed as the changing landscape becomes clearer.
Operationally, we are reviewing the decision’s impact on areas such as health insurance. The Office of Human Resources will present updates regarding any potential changes to existing benefits for employees. It will also be assessing provider options in advance of the open enrollment period.
NEOMED will work with our NEOMED faculty, researchers, clinical collaborators and others to ensure that we fully understand the impact of the Roe ruling on what we do as a public medical university and are fully prepared to continue to create transformative leaders and improve health through education, discovery and service.
For those who seek additional answers or discussion, we are considering University-led forums to engage our community with our health science professionals in discourse that many may find helpful as they cope with these changes in the coming months and beyond.
Abortion is a highly charged subject. The University believes that the right of expression is as necessary as the right of inquiry and that both must be preserved as essential to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and truth. The University’s commitment to freedom of expression, however, does not extend to harassment. Learn more about our policy.
Talking to someone during troubling times can also be helpful to many, particularly for those who have feelings of anxiety, sadness or frustration. We urge anyone who feels overwhelmed to reach out for counseling by contacting the following NEOMED service areas:
- Student Wellness and Counseling Services, firstname.lastname@example.org | 330.325.6757
- Student Services, email@example.com | 330.325.6735
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, firstname.lastname@example.org | 330.325.6733
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP), www.myimpactsolution.com, Member Login: NEOMED | 800.227.6007
We realize that there are times when members of the NEOMED community may prefer to speak with a therapist who represents specific demographics or cultural perspectives. For that reason, we have partnered with Coleman Professional Services, which will serve as an extension of our student counseling services to ensure that we find the right fit, as determined by NEOMED students. We also want faculty and staff to know that ― through the EAP ― they may request counselors according to their demographic or cultural preferences.
We recognize that some options may not offer the level of diversity that is warranted and therefore we are working to improve these resources.
The wellness of each of us has an impact on all of us. You do not have to face concerns alone.
John T. Langell