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Our DEI Programs

In recent years, VCU Health has significantly increased the number of programs it offers related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Our work touches more than 13,000 team members across the system, and we strive to help each one of those team members feel like their voice matters. Diversity is not only about race — it also encompasses culture, ethnicity, religion, gender identification, sexual identity and other dimensions of diversity that exist within our community of employees.

We view DEI as a journey that is continually evolving. Rather than just being “culturally competent,” we want to encourage our team members to be culturally responsive with our patients. As cultures evolve and change, being culturally responsive positions us to respond to one another with kindness, dignity and respect.

Our Response to “Organ Thieves”

In 1968, a Black man named Bruce Tucker suffered a catastrophic head injury and died at the Medical College of Virginia. His family later learned that medical professionals had removed Mr. Tucker’s heart and kidneys without consent and transplanted his heart into the body of a 54-year-old white man. The recipient of Mr. Tucker’s heart was one of the first patients to receive a heart transplant in the United States.

More than five decades later, author Chip Jones detailed the story in his book “Organ Thieves,” which was selected as the 2022-23 Common Book — a university-wide initiative focused on welcoming first-year students into the vibrant intellectual culture of VCU.

At VCU Health, we acknowledge the mistakes we made in the past and have been working consistently to learn from them to ensure they are not repeated.

Formal Apology

In September 2022, the Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors and the VCU Health System Board of Directors approved a resolution that formally apologized to Mr. Tucker’s family for the way he was treated. The boards also plan to create a commemorative plaque in Mr. Tucker’s name. We want to ensure that our medical school students know the inequities that have impacted many people of color.

Team Member Resource Groups

The Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee (DEISC) on April 27, 2021. The DEISC convenes multiple areas and subject matter experts who provide strategic and tactical leadership to drive the continued refinement, implementation/execution and evaluation of the VCU Health Diversity, Equity and Inclusion approach as approved by Health System Leadership. The DEISC will serve as the central advisory body for implementation of the DEI approach. The DEISC created and implemented team member resource groups, which is an approach to build a more inclusive environment and embrace diversity and inclusion in a more holistic, community-based way.

  • PRIDE, supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) team members and allies. PRIDE serves to educate the VCU Health community about LGBTQ+ health issues and to create an environment that is supportive of LGBTQ+ team members, patients, families, friends and allies.
  • AALANAI, the African American/Black, Latinx, Asian American/Asian, Native American, Allies, International (AALANAI), actively engages in the recruitment, mentorship, collegiality, professional development, retention and promotion of team members for an inclusive environment.
  • BRAVE, provides resources and support to team members who are veterans of the armed forces, or a member of the broader military community and allies. We will create a network for VCU Health team members to educate and ensure VCU Health policies and practices are inclusive.

DEI Learning

In February of 2021, leaders approved a mandatory 4-hour annual learning requirement for all team members. ODEI partnered with the Talent Management and Organizational Development team to create learning modules that are housed on our intranet system to ensure our team members understand different perspectives and know how to respect and celebrate them.


Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Celebrate Diversity Month

Unapologetically Us, VCU Health Pride Month

Women's History Month

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Black History Month

Juneteenth Celebration

LGBTQIA+ History Month

Native American Heritage Month

VCU Health Moment of Inclusion Videos

Our team members receive an immeasurable number of emails each day, with many of those emails containing information to be read. To connect with our team members in a more personal and less burdensome way, we created the Moment of Inclusion video series to spotlight diversity equity and inclusion (DEI).

May 2022

 

August 2022

 

November 2022

Dr. Marcelle Davis, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for VCU Health, shares her regular moment of inclusion. This month focuses on the collective success of the VCU Health team over the last year and a reminder that we should be respectful of the many many holidays and observances that are important to different people this time of year.