URMC Office of Equity and Inclusion Statement in Response to Allegations Against Highland Hospital Board Member


Dear Colleagues,


Many of you may have heard about allegations of racism involving Highland Hospital Board Chair, Nicholas Nicosia, DDS. A Rochester City Firefighter is accusing Nicosia and his wife, Mary, of hosting a spoof Juneteenth party at their home in Rochester. We in the URMC Office of Equity and Inclusion have embraced the celebration of Juneteenth Day and the historical significance it has for the Black Community.


The URMC Office of Equity and Inclusion takes very seriously these allegations, agrees with the Highland Hospital description of behaviors alleged as deplorable, and supports the swift leadership actions of the Highland Hospital Board. Highland Hospital is an affiliate of URMC and is held to the same ICARE and Meliora standards. 


Although disappointing, we won’t be disheartened or distracted. We will continue our efforts to create an environment where people feel safe and valued and we support accountability at all levels within our institution.


Many of you have shared your anger about these allegations. We want to offer you an opportunity to come together in a restorative session to share your thoughts in a psychologically safe space. If you’re interested, please let us know and we can facilitate a virtual conversation. 


Please see Highland Hospital’s formal statement.


“Highland Hospital and the University of Rochester Medical Center have asked for the resignation of board member Dr. Nicholas Nicosia, and he has agreed, an action effective immediately. The behavior described in the allegations is deplorable and we in no way condone it. We understand the profoundly negative impact these allegations have made on our community, and we felt swift action was necessary to continue to fulfill our mission and values.”


Adrienne Morgan, Ph.D.

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, URMC

Senior Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion, URSMD

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