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Diversity and Social Equity

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison is to assist the Department of Family and Community Medicine in promoting the Jesuit mission of Saint Louis University by supporting the inclusion of underrepresented populations and groups who occupy minority identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, religion, immigrant status, sexuality, and ability).

Headshot of Shelly Dalton

Michelle (Shelly) Dalton, Ph.D., LPC

Medical Family Therapy
Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Please contact Shelly Dalton, Ph.D., at if you have questions.

Purpose and Role in the Department

The primary purpose and role of the DEI Liaison include the development of goals and implementation of activities that:

  1. Further support the culture of diversity and inclusion in the Department and
  2. Facilitate the department's and University's mission related to treatment of underrepresented and marginalized members of our community.

Therefore, an overarching function of the DEI Liaison is to encourage and promote a culture of diversity and inclusion in the department. 

DEI Efforts within Family Community Medicine

  • Transgender Health Collaborative – The Interprofessional Transgender Health Education Day 
  • The Transgender Health Collaborative, founded in 2020, is a network of faculty researchers, educators and clinicians working with the transgender community throughout Saint Louis University and partner organizations. The Transgender Health Collaborative promotes the health of the transgender and genderqueer community through clinical services, research and clinical education. 
  • The Transgender Health Collaborative hosts the Interprofessional Transgender Health Education Day and provides foundational knowledge on transgender health and gender-inclusive communication for students in clinical education or training programs at Saint Louis University.
  • Contact: 
    Katie Heiden-Rootes, Ph.D., LMFT 
    Medical Family Therapy
  • Aging and Memory Clinic
    • The Memory Clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic offering family-centered services to patients and families with dementia and older adult issues. The clinic extends to St. Louis and surrounding areas, providing services to individuals and families who otherwise cannot afford care. The Aging and Memory Clinic is directed by Medical Family Therapy faculty member Max Zubatsky, Ph.D.
    • View More Information on the Aging and Memory Clinic
    • Contact: 
  • Queer and Trans Wellness Clinic

The FCM Department has several research projects related to DEI topics:

  • African American Perinatal Patients Healthcare Experiences (Dixie Meyer)
    • “We are conducting focus groups with African American perinatal patients to learn more about the experiences in healthcare. We seek to learn about patient experiences with structural racism, mental health integration, and what changes participants think are necessary in the healthcare system.”
  • All of Us (contact Jeff Scherrer) is designed to address the lack of diversity and equity in the history of clinical research. SLU is serving as an enrollment site. 
  • Communication Sheet (Kento Sonoda)
    • “This project aims to improve communication between Japanese patients and non-Japanese speaking health professionals by addressing language and cultural barriers.”
      • Sonoda K, Takedai T, Salter C. Communication sheet eases barriers for Japanese patients and health professionals. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22(1):976. Published 2022 Jul 30. doi:10.1186/s12913-022-08371-x
  • The Impact of Racial and Gender Minority Stressors Among BIPOC TGNC Adults in the U.S. (Michelle (Shelly) Dalton and Scott Secrest)
    • “This project is an online survey to explore the impact of racial and gender identity minority stressors such as discrimination.”
Community Outreach

Japanese Community Outreach Project (Kento Sonoda)

  • “This project aims to augment health literacy and minimize the health knowledge gap among Japanese immigrants in the United States.”
    • Sonoda K. Virtual Community Outreach Program during the pandemic of COVID-19. J Gen Fam Med. 2021;22(4):229. Published 2021 Feb 17. doi:10.1002/jgf2.424
    • Sonoda K, Salter C. Virtual community outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic: addressing health disparities for vulnerable populations. Ann Fam Med. 2022;(20 Suppl 1):10.1370/afm.20.s1.2609. Published 2022 Apr 1. doi:10.1370/afm.20.s1.2609
Workforce Diversity

GME-wide Recruitment (Kento Sonoda)

  • “This recruitment project was a GME-wide implementation to diversify the physician workforce by offering additional sessions and networking space focusing on DEI in the region.”
    • Sonoda K, Hamilton M, Bump GM, Rosser B, Doughty B, Tripp R. Virtual Brunches to Enhance Recruitment of Residents and Fellows Who Self-Identify as Underrepresented in Medicine. J Grad Med Educ. 2023;15(2):171-174. doi:10.4300/JGME-D-22-00454.1

DEI Resources

Here, you will find a curated list of resources to support your commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment within our medical school. These resources cover a wide range of topics, including training, research, policies, and support networks.

Teaching and Training