Student Helps Organize Panel Discussion to Challenge Biases in Healthcare

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

Molly Taylor wanted to have a frank discussion about challenging beliefs within the healthcare community.

Luckily, she says, she’s attending an institution that not only supported the notion, but includes faculty who stepped up to make it happen.

Taylor, a second-year doctoral student in the Rehabilitation and Health Sciences PhD Program, helped to organize this month’s 3rd Tuesday event, entitled “Challenging Biases in Healthcare: A Round Table Conversation Exploring Intersectionality, Religion, and LGBTQIA+ Perspectives,” held from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15, on Zoom (

Advertised as “An open forum discussion exploring ways in which we can challenge biases and assumptions regarding historically oppositional communities and identities,” special guests include:

  • Rachel Zoeller, DPT, she/they
  • Janice Kuperstein, PhD, she/her
  • Scottie Taylor, DPT, they/them
  • Pastor Faron Owen, Westside Community United Methodist Church

The group will consider perspectives and strategies to communicate in healthcare, “particularly with individuals who hold values or beliefs that differ from your own.”

The 3rd Tuesday Event Series is sponsored by the CHS Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and strives to provide regular opportunities to discuss issues that will help foster an environment of inclusivity and justice.

“I think, as a member of the queer community, I’m always trying to be open to hearing new perspectives,” said Taylor, a Vermont native who began her career as a certified athletic trainer. “But I wanted to discuss how someone who maybe prescribes to a certain religion can interact successfully with someone who has different beliefs, which is valuable, I think, for all of us. Are there strategies and ways that we can talk about that, challenge it, and have it be something that we openly address?”

She reached out to members of the CHS Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and the plans went into motion.

“It was amazing,” she said. “It's been honestly a privilege to work with them, and to kind of plan it, and to feed off of one another. I mean, they’ve organized so many of these events already, so having their support was incredibly helpful.”

All are encouraged to join the Zoom link and listen to the conversation.

“We’re just getting people in a room who normally wouldn't be together, just to talk and see what we can learn from one another,” Taylor said. “And do it in a really inclusive, honest, safe space.”