History and Health

We are creating a community that recognizes and embraces diverse backgrounds, identities and lived experiences. We recognize that longstanding inequalities in treatment – deeply and historically rooted – produce adverse health outcomes. To continually improve and excel, we must strive to create a more inclusive institutional culture that prioritizes the elimination of race-based disparities in health outcomes. One way that we can begin to achieve these important goals is to build a collective understanding of our institution’s history so that every member of our VCU community can connect where we have been with where we want to go.

The VCU History and Health Program is designed to help us all better understand how our country’s history of slavery, segregation and racial discrimination has shaped how we train health care providers and how we provide patient care in both the past and current day. It is a forum for all to learn, reflect and impact the future of healthcare. We offer events, panel discussions, and symposiums that provide opportunities for engagement and dialog.

History and Health events and educational content is created in collaboration with the Health Humanities Lab at the Humanities Research Center.

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


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