Education and Training

We are collaborating across the university, health system and community to develop educational programs and activities that support health care professionals, learners, team members and the public regarding health disparities and health inequities.

We launched the History and Health Program in March of 2021, with the initial series focusing on Racial Equity. The multi-part virtual series began a journey of racial healing through virtual events that examine and challenge our understanding of VCU's role in the history of Richmond and our nation. The series recordings and modules are free and available for viewing.

It wasn't until I learned more about MCV's history that I really began to feel that this wasn't simply something that happened a long time ago and has no bearing on the present. The trauma… has altered how members of the Black community perceive the work at present-day VCU Health and their relationship to healthcare and the hospital today.

Program participant

The next History and Health series will explore equitable access to care.

Because I had an advantageous housing history, I had never thought about how someone with a disadvantaged history could have their health be so impacted.  My small window of issues has enabled me to better appreciate the situation that someone with a disadvantaged history. Because I had an advantageous housing history, I had never thought about how someone with a disadvantaged history could have their health be so impacted.  My small window of issues has enabled me to better appreciate the situation that someone with a disadvantaged history.

Program participant

What we're working on for 2022

We are also excited to have worked with both the College of Health Professions and the School of Nursing to develop new service-learning courses focused on health equity. In these classes, students partner with safety-net provider community organizations to expand their comfort zones and witness inequities firsthand. In person classroom sessions, where students reflect on their experiences with their peers, bolster these community interactions. Students also examine factors leading to health inequalities and their histories, nationally and locally.

I loved the fact that we learned about a new topic that related to health equity every week. I also liked the hands-on experience that the course provided.

Program participant

As the largest safety-net health system in the Commonwealth of Virginia, VCU Health acknowledges the importance of recognizing the clinical needs of patients and the social and economic factors that may contribute to their clinical condition. As a result, VCU Health is developing Facilitating Patient-Centered, Compassionate Care (Facilitating PC3), a social determinants of health education model to assist in enhancing the empathy, understanding, and connection of medical residents to the patients and families they serve. A pilot of the Facilitating PC3 model will be introduced with three initial departments over the course of the next year.

VCU Health Sciences students bow their heads in front of the ancestral remains of individuals recovered from the East Marshall Street Well during a prayer given by Del. Delores McQuinn. Nov. 25, 2019.

Pictured above: On Nov. 25, 2019, VCU and the Richmond community welcomed back the ancestral remains from the Smithsonian Museum with respect and dignity.