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Breaking barriers: Meet four VCU alums who work in health sciences and are paving the way for equitable health care futures for all

Illustrations of Latrina Lemon, Virgie Fields, Briana James, Eric Freeman (Clockwise from upper left) Latrina Lemon, Virgie Fields, Briana James, Eric Freeman. (Olivia Libbey and Pamela Arnold, University Relations)

By Joan Tupponce

Training doctors, researchers and other health care professionals who reflect the diverse populations they serve is an essential component of the mission of VCU and VCU Health to improve health care for all.

Briana James, Ph.D., Eric Freeman, M.D., Virgie Fields and Latrina Lemon, M.D., all credit their participation in various programs at VCU and VCU Health with bringing clarity to their goals and aspirations.

VCU, including the VCU Health Sciences Division for Student Engagement and Impact, offer a variety of pipeline programs to students in middle school through college and even graduate school. The programs are geared toward potential applicants whose background may limit their access to careers in health care and other STEM-based fields, or who are interested in working in underserved communities.

The stories of Lemon, Freeman, Fields and James and their far-reaching impact demonstrate how the programs benefit both the students and the broader community.

Read their stories.