Ellis Ingram, MD, has accepted a position that places him at the forefront of the MU School of Medicine’s efforts to enhance diversity among faculty members and students. Robert Churchill, MD, Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean, appointed Ingram as the school’s first senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion.
“Dr. Ingram has been a mentor to MU medical and pre-medical students for many years,” Churchill said. “We believe that intensifying and expanding on his existing efforts to increase diversity will help us train more culturally competent physicians, increase patient satisfaction and improve access to health care in the future.”
Ingram has been a faculty member at the MU School of Medicine for more than 30 years. His awards and honors include the U.S. President Award for Excellence in Mentoring, and this year MU medical students nominated him for the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award.
In his new role, Ingram will improve diversity and inclusion by supporting student, faculty and alumni affairs. He will also continue his leadership in precollege and outreach programs, including his long-running and successful Excellence in Learning and CALEB science club programs, which provide students with mentorship and exposure to science and health care fields. In addition, he will further develop networking efforts at regional and national levels through involvement with the Association of American Medical Colleges, National Medical Association and other organizations.
Michael Railey, MD, a 1976 graduate of the MU School of Medicine who has been appointed associate dean for multicultural affairs at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, said he is excited to collaborate with Ingram as the two work toward similar goals to enhance diversity and cultural competency in Missouri. Railey and Ingram have known each other since Railey was a medical student and Ingram was a resident physician at MU in the 1970s.
“Just having him present to serve as a mentor was excellent,” Railey said, recalling his own experience as an African American medical student. “Then to be able to tell my son who was a college student at MU nearly 20 years later that he could call on Dr. Ingram as a role model, that was really something. Dr. Ingram just naturally crosses cultures, and he is an excellent person for the job.”
Ingram will continue to serve as an associate professor and cytology section director for the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences. He also will maintain his focus on building mentoring relationships with students as he pursues his role as an advocate for diversity and inclusion at the medical school.
“If our goal is to train outstanding physicians who are exceptionally prepared for the challenges of the future, diversity and cultural competency have to be a part of it,” Ingram said. “Nationwide there is a growing concern that the faces of our physicians don’t reflect our increasingly diverse country, and our medical school is committed to responding to the call.