Professionalism Task Force

wall of signs encouraging professional behavior


The Professionalism Task Force is established at the Dean of the School of Medicine’s (School) and Executive Faculty’s request to conduct a review of the School’s processes and procedures for identifying and addressing unprofessional conduct for undergraduate medical and graduate students, residents/fellows, and faculty.

The Professionalism Task Force will review and evaluate the School’s existing processes and procedures used to report concerns made by:

  • Undergraduate medical students or graduate students at SOM: For example, through course/clerkship evaluations, Canvas, eMedley, Professionalism Program, the Office of Medical Education, student support services, etc.
  • Residents/Fellows: To include the processes and procedures for residents/fellows to deal with and/or report problems and concerns to Program Directors, the GME Office, to the OIG (regardless of evaluation outcome), the Sponsoring Institution, the Graduate Medical Education Committee, the Raise and Resolve Committee, the Residents/Fellows Congress, etc. The task force will also evaluate the mechanisms by which individual residents can address concerns in a confidential and protected manner as well as the steps taken to minimize the fear of intimidation or retaliation. (ACGME Core Program Requirement)
  • BMS program students: For example, evaluating the reporting procedures for basic science graduate students
  • Faculty: For example, the Professionalism/Environnment of Learning Program (Cup of Coffee, Peer Messengers, TRIO)

The Professionalism Task Force is charged to:

  • Evaluate the adequacy of the School’s existing processes and procedures for identifying and addressing reports of unprofessional conduct.
  • Assess the School’s processes for tracking complaints of unprofessional conduct, following-up with reporters, and monitoring any recommended corrective measures and outcomes.
  • Assess the mechanisms for reporting data to leadership and leadership’s processes for addressing and reporting on action taken with respect to any trends.
  • Assess how the reporting processes and procedures are communicated to constituents.
  • Provide a written report that responds to each charge, including, if appropriate, recommendations for changes to existing SOM structures and processes, proposals for new and/or strengthened structures or processes, and suggestions for raising awareness and improving communication regarding the available mechanisms to report and address unprofessional conduct.


Dr. Kendra Harris, Chair of Taskforce

  1. Theresia Sutherlin, Resident in the Triple Boarded Program: Pediatrics, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  2. Darren Cheng, School of Medicine student
  3. Aimee Aysenne, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Vice Chair of Neurology for Inpatient Services, Neurocritical Care Fellowship Program Director, Director of Neurocritical Care and Telestroke Program
  4. Joshua Huddelston, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics
  5. Fatima Warsarme, Internal Medicine Resident
  6. Abigail Chaffin, Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Program director Tulane University/Ochsner Clinic Plastic Surgery Residency Program, Medical Director, MedCentris Wound Healing Institute at Tulane and Metairie
  7. Ben Ogola, Postdoctoral fellow, Lindsey Lab, Department of Pharmacology
  8. Javier Pineda, Pediatrics Clerkship Coordinator
  9. Lucy Goodwin, Program Coordinator Department of Structural and Cellular Biology
  10. Jeff DeMond, School of Medicine student
  11. Chad Becnel, General surgery resident
  12. Kathyrn Cox, Program Director for Anesthesiology Residency Program, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
  13. Victoria Belancio, Associate Professor, Structural and Cellular Biology, Member of the Tulane Center for Aging


Kendra Harris solicited nominations for this task force, by sending out this charge to all members of the Tulane School of Medicine list-serve. She requested nominations of faculty, residents, staff, or medical or graduate students and asked that nominations be sent directly to with the subject heading “Professionalism Task Force”, along with a brief paragraph as to why the nominee would be well suited for the task force. Self-nominations were allowed. Thereafter, Dr. Harris selected Task Force members, without vetting through the School of Medicine Leadership.


Appropriate nominees must be available to meet for 60 minutes in-person once weekly between August 16 and October 18, 2021. Ability to attend all meetings is a critical component of Task Force membership, so please consider the time commitment when making nominations. Following report submission, Task Force members must make themselves available to share conclusions and recommendations stemming from this work with program directors, residents, faculty, staff, and students, as needed.  

MEETINGS AND AGENDAS (Will be updated intermittently; most recently updated 11/2021 - working on finalizing remaining minutes for posting)

FOR CLARITY/TRANSPARENCY: These meeting minutes are not transcriptions. We are creating these minutes in order for there to be insight into the ongoing discussions of the Task Force. The summaries are not intended to be, nor are they capable of being, exhaustive. The commentary described below is not intended to reflect direct quotes and may not be comprehensively inclusive of all comments/questions/thoughts. Additionally, sensitive discussions/information may be omitted due to respect for the persons coming to speak with us.

We welcome members of the Tulane Community to engage and review – all meeting minutes now available on OneDrive.


Wednesday August 18, 2021, from 5-6

Introductions and Brainstorming related to Professionalism Task Force activities

*Meeting Minutes


Monday August 23, 2021, from 4-5

Keith Ferdinand, MD, Trio Member of Professionalism Task Force
Rhonda Coignet, Administrator for Trio

*Meeting Minutes


Monday August 30, 2021, from 4-5

*Canceled due to Hurricane IDA


Monday September 6, 2021, from 4-5

*Canceled due to Hurricane IDA


Monday September 13, 2021, from 4-5

*Canceled due to Hurricane IDA


Monday September 20, 2021, from 4-5

Kevin Krane, MD,  Medical School Curricular Lead
Elma LeDoux, MD, Medical School Student Affairs Lead

*Meeting Minutes


Monday September 27, 2021, from 4-5

Mary Killackey, MD, Chair of Surgery
lead for Professionalism Program launch

David Doukas, MD,  Member of Professionalism Trio

*Meeting Minutes


Monday October 4, 2021, from 4-5

Diane Blake, PhD - Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Role: Third member of the Professionalism Trio for the Tulane SOM Professionalism Program.
Co-Director of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, Tulane Cancer Center Contributing Member.

Biomedical Sciences Program

Zylkia Lozano – Biomedical Sciences at Tulane
Role: Program manager at Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences

Jay Kolls, MD - Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics. John W. Deming Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine
Role: Steering Committee of the BMS program

Heather Machado, PhD – Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Role: Chair of the BMS Admissions Committee

*Meeting Minutes


Monday October 11, 2021, from 4-5

Ruth Riley

Role: Assistant Vice President, Office of Human Resources & Institutional Equity

Stacey Schwankhart

Role: Senior HR Business Partner, Employee Relations Group, Office of Human Resources & Institutional Equity

Tiffany Smith, JD

Role: Manager, Office of Institutional Equity

Julia Broussard

Role: Interim Assistant Provost for Title IX & University Sexual Misconduct Response, Title IX Coordinator

*Meeting Minutes


Monday October 18, 2021, from 4-5

Janet “Jancy” Hoeffel, JD – Catherine D. Pierson Professor of Law

Role: Chair of the Senate Committee on Equal Opportunity and
Anti-Discrimination Grievances Against Faculty

Cynthia Hanemann, MD – Vice Chair, Department of Radiology

Role: Member of the Senate Committee on Equal Opportunity and
Anti-Discrimination Grievances Against Faculty

Elizabeth Norton, PhD – Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Role: Chair of the General Medical Faculty Grievance Committee

Gregory Bix, MD, PhD - Director, Clinical Neuroscience Research Center, Professor & Vice Chair of Clinical & Translational Research, Vada Odom Reynolds Chair in Stroke Research

Role: Chair, Personnel and Honors Committee

Chad Roy, PhD - Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Core Scientist at the Tulane National Primate Research Center, Division of Microbiology

Role: Vice-Chair, Personnel and Honors Committee

Wendy Stark, JD – Director, Faculty Affairs

Role: Staff support, Personnel and Honors Committee

Tonette Krousel-Wood, MD – Associate Provost for the Health Sciences, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Role: Ex Officio, Personnel and Honors Committee

*Meeting Minutes


Monday October 25, 2021, from 4-5

All Program Directors and Fellowship Directors within Tulane SOM

*Meeting Minutes


Monday November 1, 2021, from 4-5

Members of the Graduate Medical Education Committee

*Meeting Minutes


Monday November 8, 2021, from 4-5

Anneliese Singh, PhD,  Associate Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development and Chief Diversity Officer, Co-Chair, Commission on Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Eva Silvestre, PhD,  EDI Data Strategist, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Clinical Assistant Professor, SPHTM, Campus Climate Survey Committee Member

Shelby Norman, EDI Program Manager

*Meeting Minutes


Monday November 15, 2021, from 4-5

Hospital Partner – UMC

Jerry Hickson, MD

*Meeting Minutes


Monday November 22, 2021, from 4-5

Hospital Partner – Tulane Hospital

Hospital Partner – VA

*Meeting Minutes


Monday, November 29, 2021, from 4-5

Hospital Partner – Children’s

*Meeting Minutes


Monday, December 6, 2021



Monday, December 13, 2021




Please be in touch with questions, concerns and feedback.  We would love to hear from you!

If you would like an email to go to every member of the Professionalism Task Force:

If you would like an email to come directly to the Chair:

Kendra Harris, MD MSc
Chair, Professionalism Task Force
Cell Phone: 504-439-1111