Vision and Core Values
The HMS Office for Community-Centered Medical Education (OCCME) will serve as an incubator that will foster meaningful partnerships between HMS students and Boston communities*. The OCCME will invite, honor, and respond to the stated priorities of these communities to promote equity, social justice, and trust. The OCCME will elevate the vital role of community members and organizations as educators whose lived experiences and leadership should be central to the training of future physicians. The OCCME will nurture and inspire our students to engage with communities with cultural humility, integrity, and shared values. This approach will enable HMS to graduate physicians with the sensibilities and skills to partner with communities, innovate and promote transformative change in medicine.
*Initially encompassing a geographical catchment area from Nubian Square (Roxbury), Mission Hill to Jackson Square (Jamaica Plain), with a special focus on historically marginalized communities.
**Proposed definition of 'community': A place where you feel comfortable and accepted, a part of where one can be themselves and in a trusted, safe space. A place to learn, teach, and share with each other.
- Anti-racist – The policy or practice of opposing systemic racism through actions, not merely conversations, at multiple levels, without fear of discomfort.
- Inclusivity (co-creation) – Intentionally centering the voices of the community in developing the work of the OCCME, through an approach that promotes dignity and honors the lived experiences of community members.
- Investment – An institutional commitment to dedicate needed resources including time, expertise, personnel, and funding to achieve long-term, sustainable goals.
- Justice – A commitment to actively centering the voices and lived experiences of the folks most affected, in partnership with medical students and the HMS community.
- Partnership – A shared institutional responsibility and accountability as the OCCME intentionally partners with community organizations and centers students to learn from these communities; co-defining needs as driving community outcomes.
- Reciprocity – Engagement in a discussion about what reciprocity looks like to a community, and how it will evolve. Actively centering community priorities in planning, engagement, and execution.
- Sustainability – Creating manageable and consistent work plans to maintain longitudinal commitments with community partners that align with a shared mission, vision, and values. Sustainability and longitudinal collaboration are key foundations for building trust.
- Transparency – Openness in communication and accountability with regard to processes and decision-making.
- Trust – A safe space that requires honesty, reliability, dependability, transparency, and authenticity while having others' best interests in mind.