HFES is pleased to announce that it will provide Ombuds services at its live, in-person meetings. The Ombuds is an independent, impartial, off-the-record, and confidential resource for meeting attendees to obtain information, seek guidance, voice their concerns about misconduct, harassment, discrimination, and hostility, and to discuss options for how they can deal with concerns that they may experience or observe at HFES meetings.
We are pleased to announce that we have selected HFES member Sylvain Bruni to initially serve in this role as we pilot this program and assess how we may further develop and improve our Ombuds program. Meeting participants may contact Sylvain Bruni by telephone at (617) 417-0359 or by email at Ombuds@hfes.org.
This action is taken to uphold our commitment to provide a safe and productive meeting environment free of discrimination, hostility, and harassment, in any form, for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental disability, medical condition, physical appearance, ethnicity, race, religion, political affiliation, nationality, or any other group identity or basis protected by federal or applicable state laws or local ordinances.
The Ombuds will be available beginning at the annual meeting in Washington, DC. The ombuds will serve as a confidential resource for meeting attendees to discuss any concerns they may have concerning meeting-related behaviors and activities. The Ombuds will be able to provide information confidentially and provide a safe place for people to discuss their concerns in a confidential way to explore options for any further action. Initially, the ombuds will be for our live, in-person HFES events. It could expand in the future.
The role of the HFES ombuds does not include making management decisions, conducting investigations, advocating/taking sides, testifying or producing documentation for legal proceedings, or substituting for any formal channels/processes.
In addition to serving as a resource to assist individuals attending the meeting, the Ombuds—without breaching the confidentiality of any communications by people using the services—will provide HFES with feedback on the nature of issues raised at the meeting and any insights or observations about systemic issues relating to the meeting or the Society.