Effective July 1, Mental Health Services will become a unit of Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity, and the Ombuds Office will report directly to the dean. The changes are prompted by the retirement of Executive Vice Dean Stephen P. Bogdewic, PhD, who had supervised both offices.
“Steve’s nearly three decades of experience with the school made him uniquely qualified to help develop and champion these important programs,” Hess said. “He provided an extraordinary service to the IU School of Medicine community that will benefit faculty and learners for many years to come. As he retires, we thoughtfully considered how best to ensure these programs continue to receive the level of executive support necessary to thrive and flourish.”
Other aspects of Bogdewic’s portfolio, such as responsibility for strategic planning, are being distributed among other members of the school’s leadership team.
Mental Health Services
Mental Health Services provides confidential mental health and personal counseling services to medical students, residents and fellows. While IU School of Medicine has long offered some level of mental health support to learners, the school has made dramatic investments in recent years that involved hiring Director Samia Hasan, MD, adding a team of mental health experts, and providing enhanced access to services across all nine campuses.
As part of the reorganization, Hasan will report to Mary Dankoski, PhD, executive associate dean for faculty affairs and professional development. The change will not affect the confidentiality of these services or how learners access mental health services.
The transition will allow for alignment and coordination with other initiatives to promote wellness, Hess said.
The school’s first associate dean for wellness, announced this week, will also report to Dankoski. That role is charged with spearheading innovative, coordinated and aligned initiatives to address physical, emotional, intellectual and social wellness needs of members of IU School of Medicine and IU Health Physicians.
“The health and well-being of the IU School of Medicine community is our highest priority,” Hess said. “This new alignment will enable us to think holistically about how we prevent burnout and stress—which are growing concerns among learners and faculty nationwide—and provide the highest level support to members of IU School of Medicine who may require assistance for any reason.”
IU School of Medicine established the Ombuds Office in 2016 as a place where learners and faculty can explore and assess options for resolving conflicts, lapses in professionalism, allegations of mistreatment and other issues or concerns.
Joseph A. DiMicco, PhD, professor emeritus of pharmacology and toxicology, and Marly P. Bradley, MD, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, serve as ombudspersons for the school and will now report to the dean.
As with Mental Health Services, the process for contacting the Ombuds Office and the services offered will not change. Communication and consultations with the Ombuds Office will continue to remain confidential to the extent permitted by applicable law and university policy.
“The goal of the Ombuds Office is to ensure IU School of Medicine promotes a culture of respect, civility and fairness,” Hess said. “This is central to all that we do. My hope is to continue to elevate the office so all faculty and learners know they have a place to turn to resolve concerns in a manner that makes our community stronger and more inclusive.”
‘Vision and leadership’
Hess created the role of executive vice dean and appointed Bogdewic to it in 2014. At the time, the school was preparing for reaccreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, working to increase alignment with IU Health and beginning to develop a new strategic plan.
Bogdewic helped establish systems and practices to address these and other priorities. With that foundation firmly in place, there are no current plans to name a new executive vice dean.
“I asked Steve to serve in this leadership role during a unique period in the life of the school when his vision and leadership were especially vital,” Hess said. “I am grateful for his service and feel confident that the initiatives he led have made us a more successful medical school and will continue to have an impact long after his retirement.”
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Director of Strategic Communications
Karen Spataro served as director of the Indiana University School of Medicine Office of Strategic Communications from 2018-2020. She is now the Chief Communications Officer at Riley Children's Foundation.