COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Daily Updates and ResourcesCOVID Resources
The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is committed to ensuring diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of all departmental activities including patient care, research and graduate medical education. We are also committed to providing an equitable and inclusive workplace for all faculty, staff and students that includes sustained, positive cultural change.
Recent events on the local, state and national level beget a great urgency for actively promoting diversity and inclusivity (D&I) awareness and practices in our educational and work environment. Diversity and inclusivity are in current and prominent focus at VCU given the recent hiring of the Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and the formation of the 90-member university task force. The overarching purpose of the PM&R Workgroup for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusive Practices (WEDIP) is to promote the mission and vision of VCU on a departmental level in alignment with the broader VCU strategy. The primary goals are to improve the quality of care to our patients, foster an inclusive and equitable workplace, promote awareness of diversity issues to the next generation of healthcare professionals, and sustain positive cultural change.
Explore the sections below for more information about WEDIP, in addition to diversity and inclusion resources and research funding:
VCU Department of PM&R, inclusive of faculty, staff and trainees; clinical, education/training and research; and inpatient, outpatient, and community service lines.
Statement of Support for AAPI Community (3/17/21)
In light of the recent events in Atlanta and the widespread increase in hate crimes against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community over the past year, on behalf of the PM&R Department, we reiterate the complete and absolute rejection of this violence. There is no room for hate, discrimination, or divisive rhetoric in our department, institution, or society. As we work to build a more equitable, fair, and just culture, we must specifically acknowledge and support the AAPI community. While these recent events have received media coverage, the discrimination and violence perpetuated against the AAPI community is longstanding and affects our colleagues, patients, and all who we serve. We are asking each of you to take action in supporting the AAPI community today and in the future. To support this call to action, please reference these articles and resources.
Together we stand united against hate.
2021 Juneteenth Announcement (6/14/21)
On Saturday, June 19th, we will observe Juneteenth, which commemorates June 19th, 1865, the day when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, TX were informed of their freedom. This announcement happened more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln. The date is also referred to as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation Day, all names that connote the celebration of the occasion. Communities around the country will mark the day with cookouts, festivals, Miss Juneteenth pageants, and street fairs.
Yet, also occupying this space of jubilation is a call to reflect and to educate ourselves and others about the significance of the date and the work that remains to be done. Emancipation was only one battle in the long struggle for Black civil rights. It was another 99 years before Black Americans were granted equal rights and privileges with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To this day, Black Americans continue to experience bias and inequity, which is evident in all aspects of our society including our healthcare system. For example, Black adults are twice as likely to die from heart disease and suffer preventable conditions such as diabetes and hypertension-related stroke than their white peers. Black queer women are less likely to receive preventative healthcare such as mammograms and an estimated 44% of Black transgender women are living with HIV.
As healthcare providers, it is our duty to end the practices that perpetuate healthcare inequities and systemic bias. We ask you to make Juneteenth a day of reflection and action. To our Black colleagues and community members, we hope that you use this day to revitalize, energize, and celebrate. To our non-Black colleagues and community members, we ask that you educate yourself on Black history and anti-racism, support Black-owned businesses, and participate in the VCU, VCU Health, and community activities to celebrate Juneteenth. We have provided a list of events and resources to support your efforts.
To all, Happy Juneteenth!
VCU Health will celebrate Juneteenth with a series of events, including a libation ceremony by Janine Bell, president and artistic director of the Elegba Folklore Society; musical presentation by J. Plunky Branch, an American Jazz saxophonist, songwriter, and music and film producer and founder of Plunky & Oneness; and a virtual Art Tour of Richmond Murals by African American artists, including Sir James Thornhill, Hamilton Glass, and S. Ross Browne.
RVA Community Juneteenth Celebrations
RVA Black Owned Businesses
Additionally, now more than ever, we want to highlight Black-owned businesses in the area that you can support. Economic investment is critical to addressing the many disparities, including health disparities, that exist between Black communities and other communities in this country. Not just on Juneteenth, we encourage you to patronize these business all year-round, as after all, they are our neighbors and local businesses!
Black History and Anti-Racist Resources
VCU and School of Medicine