Ombuds Services – Northeast Ohio Medical University


Hi, my name is Angela – and I am your Ombuds. The title Ombuds is a shortened and gender-neutral term for the word Ombudsman. Another word that’s used to describe my role is Ombudsperson. You may be wondering what does that even mean? The word Ombudsman has a Swedish origin. It literally means I may not be the first ombudsman that you’ve encountered and there are actually different types with different functional responsibilities and standards of practice. There’s the classical ombuds who are typically appointed by a legislative body to represent the public. when the public has concerns regarding the conduct of governmental agencies. They conduct formal investigations. There’s also the advocate ombuds who is defined as one who advocates on behalf of a designated population such as patients in the long-term care facilities. I’m not an advocate either. I am an organizational ombuds and what the organizational ombuds does is facilitate the informal resolution of concerns of employees, managers, students, and sometimes the external clients of the organization. The organizational ombuds is neutral. I am your appointed ombuds – appointed by president Jay Gershen. Ombuds services were brought to NEOMED in October of 2014 and I have served in this capacity since the inception. Serving all students, faculty and staff. Many organizations have an ombuds and ombuds are very common on university and college campuses. The main goal of having an ombuds is to be proactive and responsive and making sure that all members of the organization are treated fairly, equitably and with dignity and respect. It is to help members effectively and efficiently manage issues concerns and disputes or the perception thereof, by providing information generating options for problem solving and improving ways for future problem resolution and conflict management. As a skilled coach, facilitator, dispute resolution practitioner and trainer, I assist employees and students in handling sensitive and complex issues. Examples of assistive issues are respect and treatment, ethical dilemmas, harassment and discrimination, interpersonal conflict, administrative decisions, climate and culture concerns, and performance evaluations including grade disputes Assistance is provided confidentially and off-the-record. I hold communications in strict confidence and I take all reasonable steps to safeguard confidentiality. This means that I do not reveal the identity of anyone contacting me without their express permission. This provides a unique opportunity to the members of this university. Being a confidential and off-the-record resource allows users to privately discuss and explore resolutions to issues and concerns while they decide how and whether or not they wish to include others in the process. Being an off-the-record resource literally means that I do not keep records. I do not accept complaints on behalf of the University. However, I do provide information to individuals and warming them on how to make a complaint to the appropriate individual or to the appropriate office if they decide to take that formal approach There are only three exceptions to confidentiality: When I believe that there is an imminent risk of serious harm and when there is no other reasonable option; When I know that a felony has been or is being committed; and finally, when there’s an allegation of sexual violence. In any such case of an exception to confidentiality, I will limit any disclosure to only that which is necessary. I invite you to visit neomed.edu/ombuds to learn more about this informal, confidential and of the record neutral and voluntary resource. You can contact me confidentially on my mobile You can email me at You can conveniently schedule an appointment with me online With a click of a button! So remember, I am YOUR ombuds! Confidential, informal, neutral, and ready to serve.

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