Workgroup for Excellence in Diversity & Inclusive Practices (WEDIP)
Recent events on the local, state and national level beget a great urgency for actively promoting diversity and inclusivity (D&I) awareness and practices in our educational and work environment. Diversity and inclusivity are in current and prominent focus at VCU given the recent hiring of the Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and the formation of the 90-member university task force. The overarching purpose of the PM&R Workgroup for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusive Practices (WEDIP) is to promote the mission and vision of VCU on a departmental level in alignment with the broader VCU strategy. The primary goals are to improve the quality of care to our patients, foster an inclusive and equitable workplace, promote awareness of diversity issues to the next generation of healthcare professionals, and sustain positive cultural change.
Explore the sections below for more information about WEDIP, in addition to diversity and inclusion resources and research funding:
- Assess current D&I needs within PM&R faculty, staff and trainees
- Address current D&I needs within PM&R faculty, staff and trainees
- Enhance accessibility of support services and reporting process for PM&R faculty, staff and trainees
- Ensuring faculty, staff and trainee compliance with university-wide D&I standards of training
- Establish a sustainable departmental culture of equity, inclusion and safety
- Organizational Benefits:
- Serve as a source of education and consultation for other SOM departments
- Increase awareness and understanding of faculty, staff and student needs are related to issues of diversity, equity and inclusivity
- Promote diversity in hiring practices
- Departmental Benefits:
- Enhance education and awareness on issues of diversity, inclusion and equity
- Improve awareness of personal biases and avenues for facilitating positive change
- Facilitate interactions between faculty, staff and trainees
- Promote awareness and advocacy for LGBTQIA, religious, racial/ethnic, and other historically underrepresented populations
- Patient Benefits:
- Improve care quality and patient experience by promoting an inclusive healthcare environment
- Identify unique needs and barriers to care resultant from unequitable practice
- Promote access to relevant safety and inclusivity resources
- Foster a healthcare culture of safety and inclusivity
VCU Department of PM&R, inclusive of faculty, staff and trainees; clinical, education/training and research; and inpatient, outpatient, and community service lines.
- Amma Agyemang, PhD
- Devin Bowers, MPH
- Anne Chan, DPT, MPH
- Nancy Hsu, PsyD
- Amol Karmarkar, PhD
- Sharon Mann
- Ana Mills, PsyD
- Emilie Pinto, DO
- Olivier Rolin, MD, PhD
- David Rothman, PhD
- Needs assessment for faculty, staff, and trainees
- Create diversity, equity, and inclusion resource database
- Resident, faculty, and staff training in health disparities and structural racism
- Establish mentoring for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) faculty and residents
- Immunity to Change (ITC) facilitation for PM&R leaders
- Integrate PM&R workgroup with VCUHS diversity efforts
- PM&R D&I assessment by outside consultant
- Improve diversity in PM&R recruitment, retention, and promotion
- PM&R research-specific focus on BIPOC
- Revenue proportioning to supplement lowest-paid PM&R staff
- Creation of PM&R Foundation to provide support for faculty/staff community engagement/leadership and minority scholarships
- Community partnerships to improve healthcare access
- Relocation of clinical services to improve patient access
Statement of Support for AAPI Community (3/17/21)
In light of the recent events in Atlanta and the widespread increase in hate crimes against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community over the past year, on behalf of the PM&R Department, we reiterate the complete and absolute rejection of this violence. There is no room for hate, discrimination, or divisive rhetoric in our department, institution, or society. As we work to build a more equitable, fair, and just culture, we must specifically acknowledge and support the AAPI community. While these recent events have received media coverage, the discrimination and violence perpetuated against the AAPI community is longstanding and affects our colleagues, patients, and all who we serve. We are asking each of you to take action in supporting the AAPI community today and in the future. To support this call to action, please reference these articles and resources.
- Anti-Racism Resources to Support AAPI Community (NBC)
- How to Support Asian American Colleagues and Anti-Asian Violence (CNBC)
- Stop AAPI Hate
- Federal Asian Pacific American Council
Together we stand united against hate.
2021 Juneteenth Announcement (6/14/21)
On Saturday, June 19th, we will observe Juneteenth, which commemorates June 19th, 1865, the day when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, TX were informed of their freedom. This announcement happened more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln. The date is also referred to as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation Day, all names that connote the celebration of the occasion. Communities around the country will mark the day with cookouts, festivals, Miss Juneteenth pageants, and street fairs.
Yet, also occupying this space of jubilation is a call to reflect and to educate ourselves and others about the significance of the date and the work that remains to be done. Emancipation was only one battle in the long struggle for Black civil rights. It was another 99 years before Black Americans were granted equal rights and privileges with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To this day, Black Americans continue to experience bias and inequity, which is evident in all aspects of our society including our healthcare system. For example, Black adults are twice as likely to die from heart disease and suffer preventable conditions such as diabetes and hypertension-related stroke than their white peers. Black queer women are less likely to receive preventative healthcare such as mammograms and an estimated 44% of Black transgender women are living with HIV.
As healthcare providers, it is our duty to end the practices that perpetuate healthcare inequities and systemic bias. We ask you to make Juneteenth a day of reflection and action. To our Black colleagues and community members, we hope that you use this day to revitalize, energize, and celebrate. To our non-Black colleagues and community members, we ask that you educate yourself on Black history and anti-racism, support Black-owned businesses, and participate in the VCU, VCU Health, and community activities to celebrate Juneteenth. We have provided a list of events and resources to support your efforts.
To all, Happy Juneteenth!
VCU Health will celebrate Juneteenth with a series of events, including a libation ceremony by Janine Bell, president and artistic director of the Elegba Folklore Society; musical presentation by J. Plunky Branch, an American Jazz saxophonist, songwriter, and music and film producer and founder of Plunky & Oneness; and a virtual Art Tour of Richmond Murals by African American artists, including Sir James Thornhill, Hamilton Glass, and S. Ross Browne.
RVA Community Juneteenth Celebrations
- Event: Juneteenth Jubilee in the Park
- Date & Time: Saturday, June 19 2:00-6:00pm
- Location: Byrd Park, the Landing at Fountain Lake, Richmond
- Description: Celebrate Juneteenth with live music, entertainment, food, children activities, resources and representation by city and state leaders.
- For more information.
- Event: Henrico County Juneteenth Celebration
- Date & Time: Saturday, June 19 1:00-10:00pm
- Location: Dorey Park, Henrico
- Description: Join Henrico Recreation & Parks at Dorey Park for fireworks, live music performances (feat. Plunky & Oneness and Bak N Da Day), food trucks, a vendor fair, live history interpreters, and games for kids.
- For more information.
- Event: The Black Village of RVA 1st Annual Juneteenth Block Party
- Date & Time: Saturday, June 19 12:00-7:00pm
- Location: Diversity Richmond
- Description: Join The Black Village of RVA and Diversity Richmond for the 1st Annual Juneteenth Block-Party/Pop-Up shop. This culturally transformative event will include Black owned businesses, live music, dance, food, spoken word, games and more.
- For more information.
RVA Black Owned Businesses
Additionally, now more than ever, we want to highlight Black-owned businesses in the area that you can support. Economic investment is critical to addressing the many disparities, including health disparities, that exist between Black communities and other communities in this country. Not just on Juneteenth, we encourage you to patronize these business all year-round, as after all, they are our neighbors and local businesses!
Black History and Anti-Racist Resources
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (Intranet login required.)
VCU and School of Medicine
- VCU HR Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit
- VCU Inclusive Excellence
- VCU iCubed
- SOM Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- History and Health: Racial Equity