Helping you live your best life

Skip main navigation
Group Created with Sketch.

Need help

What can we help you find?

Related Search Terms

Related Search Results


Series on racial equity aims to fill gaps in health equity education

The series is open for members of the public and VCU community to explore VCU Health’s history and efforts to make healthcare more equitable.

Arms and raised hands of diverse crowd of people. Speech bubbles are above them in the illustration. The series was created to help spark dialogue and learning opportunities around Virginia Commonwealth University’s history of structural racism and the discrimination towards the Black community. (Getty Images)

By Jayla Parker

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Office of Health Equity is excited to launch the History and Health; Racial Equity Series.

This education module gives the VCU and VCU Health community opportunities for in-depth engagement and dialogue about our institutional history, reflection of how that history has influenced and shaped us and examination of the resulting impact on current health disparities.

“As an academic health center that cares for a large constituency of Black and Brown patients, we have a unique responsibility to address legacies of bias and discriminatory practices, ” said Logan Vetrovec, director of education and research in the Office of Health Equity.

What inspired VCU and VCU Health to create this series?

The Office of Health Equity at VCU, started in 2021, aims to develop initiatives that introduce the principles of health equity into education, training, research and patient services.

The creation of the History and Health; Racial Equity Series was essentially inspired by the protests against racism and police brutality towards African Americans in summer of 2020, following the murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.

Slavery, segregation and race-based discrimination are topics often excluded from lessons taught on the history of medicine and healthcare, but the VCU Office of Health Equity recognizes how ignoring these parts of the past is a disservice to our future progress as a community.

The purpose of this uncommon educational program

Increasing awareness, supporting conversations that some may find “uncomfortable” and providing a safe space for everyone to be heard are all motives behind creating this series.

The Office of Health Equity describes this program as an intentional approach to address substantial knowledge gaps in understanding the academic health center’s history and to facilitate an effective interface between diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and the burgeoning engagement of VCU’s past.

“The series content was created by faculty and team members across the university and health system, drawing on the wealth of existing knowledge and expertise of partners at VCU Libraries, the East Marshall Street Well Project, the Humanities Research Center and others,” said Anne Massey, director of patient and community services in the Office of Health Equity.

The History and Health; Racial Equity series has 11 topics with event recordings and learning modules:

  • Fundamentals of Race & Racism
  • Race, Space & Power in Richmond Virginia
  • Medical Research and the First Heart Transplant in the South
  • Coughing and Scoffing: Inequities in the Time of COVID-19
  • Assessing Structural Racism by Understanding St. Philip Hospital and School of Nursing
  • Medical Dissection and the East Marshall Street Well
  • Housing, History, and Health
  • Structural Racism and the Food Environment
  • The Roots of Institutional Racism: Medical College of Virginia
  • Medical Racism Then & Now: When You Know Better, You Do Better - Racial Equity Symposium
  • Mothers of Gynecology - Racial Equity Symposium

This program gives all VCU and VCU Health employees as well as students and community members the opportunity to earn a History and Health; Racial Equity digital badge for participating. In addition, participants can satisfy annual VCU Health System DEI learning requirements and receive VCU Health continuing education credit by completing online learning modules.

All of these free materials are available online at the VCU Office of Health Equity website