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Longtime VCU Health transportation director shares ways to help people physically and spiritually in community event

VCU Health’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to host special event with Mark Divens, director of Patient Transportation and Courier Services.

Man sitting down in a pose The office of diversity, equity and inclusion will host a conversation with Mark Divens, VCU Health transportation director, on the history of the health systems and healthcare delivery through transportation services. (Contributed photo)

By Adam Austin

Members of the community, VCU Health staff, Virginia Commonwealth University faculty and students are invited to a discussion on the history of the health system through the eyes of a team member at the forefront of important changes to improve patient care and health care delivery through transportation services.

Transportation is often recognized as a barrier to accessing care. Mark Divens’ unwavering dedication to helping patients and their caregivers has made him a driving force for solving problems related to this issue at VCU Health.

Much has changed since Divens first walked into VCU Medical Center for his first day of work in April 1984. He started off in emergency medical services and patient transport, working his way up to become the director of Patient Transportation and Courier Services for the medical center. Along the way, Divens set up the first patient discharge center in the Gateway Center, headed up the Special Escort Advance Life Support team at the Medical Center, flew for the first time while transporting a patient and oversaw parking.

Those are just a few of the highlights of Divens’ nearly forty years with VCU Health. Through the years there is one change that has remained constant for him.

“Growth is the biggest change at VCU Health since I started here. When you look at where we are today compared to when I started, it is an explosion of growth. The number of visitors we have daily is amazing,” Divens said.

Divens also brings a unique perspective to the health care setting, as he is also the pastor of Second Antioch Baptist Church in Powhattan, Virginia.

“Working with patients here led me to becoming a pastor,” he said. “Helping people deal first-hand with pain and struggles in health care built a desire in me to help people physically, like I do at VCU Health and spiritually, like I do as a pastor.”

As part of the events for Celebrate Diversity Month, VCU Health’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is hosting a special event called “A Conversation with Mark Divens” on April 17 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Egyptian Building auditorium.

The conversation will dive into the power of connection, community, camaraderie and change in health care witnessed by Divens throughout his career. A simulcast of the discussion will be broadcast online through Zoom for those who cannot attend in-person.