The VCU College of Health Professions has released its inaugural biennial inclusive excellence report, highlighting its efforts to advance inclusion and belonging through College-wide initiatives and within each of its nine departments. In addition to featuring various programs, initiatives, and outcomes, the report also highlights various members of the CHP community – students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
“While the College has previously drafted internal reports on our diversity-related initiatives, this is the first document created for both internal and external stakeholders that highlights our amazing people and the work they are doing to advance inclusive excellence” said Stephan Davis, D.N.P., M.H.S.A., F.A.C.H.E., F.A.A.N., associate dean of inclusive excellence and belonging. “As an INSIGHT to Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Health Professions award recipient, it is important that we disseminate our efforts to advance inclusion and also continually learn from peer institutions that are national leaders in this work as well.”
The College is one of only 62 health professions schools recognized by the INSIGHT into Diversity magazine for excellence in diversity and is the first and only academic unit within the VCU Health Sciences Campus to receive the award.
“My key takeaway from the report is that throughout the College and its departments, our progress has been significant, impactful, and measurable” said Paula Song, Ph.D., interim dean and Richard M. Bracken chair and professor of Health Administration. “I am proud of the leadership demonstrated at the College-level, through our diversity, equity, and inclusion committee, and in each of our departments. Our chairs, faculty, and staff have been tireless champions for inclusion.”
A unique element of the report is that each of the nine departments were invited to showcase their accomplishments related to diversity and inclusion.
"It is exciting to be able to share the Patient Counseling Department's story" said Rev. Marilyn J.D. Barnes, Rev. Robert B. Lantz chair and assistant professor. "From how we welcome new students, faculty, and staff to the department, to our efforts to ensure they are successfully retained, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) is not simply a program or 'something we do', it is part of our DNA. It is about each member of our learning community feeling seen, heard, included and having a sense of belonging in the department and field of chaplaincy."
"As a leading department of nurse anesthesia, it is essential that we disseminate best practices through diverse channels, including the College's Biennial Inclusive Excellence Report" said Nicole Damico, Ph.D., C.R.N.A., F.A.A.N.A., Herbert T. Watson endowed professor and department chair. From hosting Diversity CRNA, a national program to increase diverse representation in nurse anesthesia, to eliminating the GRE for our Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) and implementing holistic admissions practices, our department has helped pave the way towards a more diverse and inclusive field for CRNAs."
The release of the report also coincides with the College’s official launch of the Inclusive Excellence Fund. Contributions made to the Inclusive Excellence Fund will help the College make further advancements as a national leader for diversity and inclusion in health professions education.
The VCU College of Health Professions is a nationally recognized leader in the education of health providers and leaders, and cultivates an interprofessional approach to training. The College offers curricula at the baccalaureate, master's, post-graduate and doctoral levels designed to prepare health care professionals for roles in a variety of clinical, teaching, and community health and wellness settings. For more, visit the College of Health Professions website.