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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Learning from our past to inform our future 

We are committed to treating all patients with dignity and respect. That said, we acknowledge that there have been times when we have fallen short of this goal and damaged the trust communities place in us that is vital for us to best serve our patients.  

We recently ratified a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement that will guide the future of our institution. As part of it, we vowed to fearlessly accept criticism and continuously learn from our mistakes with transparency and humility. Our history can teach us valuable lessons to make VCU Health and the communities we serve better places.     

 

All members of the VCU Health community prioritize individual dignity and strive to promote a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and equity in a supportive patient care, learning, research, and work environment.

Every VCU Health patient and their family, as well as our team members and learners, deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and professionalism.

We are committed to creating a community that recognizes and embraces diverse backgrounds, identities, and lived experiences. We will not tolerate or condone discrimination.

We are also committed to delivering health care in a manner that respects diversity and inclusivity with the full intent of ensuring an optimal patient experience and achieving better health outcomes for all.

We will actively work to dismantle systemic racism and inequalities that may be entrenched in our health system.

Our commitment is relentless and we seek to be faithful to it in all our actions. We will fearlessly accept criticism and continuously learn from our mistakes with transparency and humility throughout this journey. Together, we will make VCU Health a better place, be a stronger community partner, and earn the trust of all.

VCU Health DEI Plan Summary
As a health system, we have been doing a lot of listening and learning to inform a long-term Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan for our institution. We are currently working on the plan, which includes the following priorities:

  1. Develop a governance structure to support all diversity, equity and inclusion efforts
  2. Create a sustainable infrastructure, including creating an office of diversity, equity and inclusion
  3. Conduct self-assessments to determine any gaps in our policies, procedures, practices and services.
  4. Continue to implement strategy, development, action planning and execution on initiatives that our foundational to our health system
  5. Develop and implement ongoing education and training programs

Advancing Health Equity and Removing Obstacles Facing our Community
Economic and social hardships place many members of our community at risk for avoidable illness, suffering, disability and premature death. With leading medical experts and deep roots in the Richmond area, it is VCU Health's responsibility to address the barriers that prevent our patients, community and team members from leading healthy and successful lives. Visit Community Impact to learn more about VCU Health's initiatives.

When Dionne Wynn-Criss, a North Carolina resident and living kidney donor, donated a kidney to her husband amid a pandemic, the only thing on her mind was helping her husband get well.

But, with an organ transplant waiting list currently at more than 100,000 — with more than 60% representing racial and ethnic minorities — VCU Health sat down with donor Dionne and Marcelle Davis, DSL, VCU Health’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, to discuss the disparity in organ transplantation in racial and ethnic minorities. “These discussions equip us to listen and learn so we can take much needed action together,” says Davis.

Racial bias could mean life or death for patients. “It’s critical that as a health system, we ensure that when we work with our patients, we do so from a culturally proficient manner that recognizes more than their skin tone,” says Davis. “They're a whole person and should be seen for their race, culture, ethnicity, gender identification, sexual orientation, preferred name, and pronoun use.” That's what's needed to provide optimum health and that’s what VCU Health is committed to.

The Hume-Lee Transplant Center is above the national average in transplanting minority patients. And with a health system focused on DE&I, Marcelle says, “it ensures that we're all singing from the same sheet music.”