Last month, I participated in an hour-long tour of the West Complex, focusing on the history of race over the last century at UVA Medical Center. During the tour, Dan Cavanaugh, the Curator of Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, touched on many historical developments in the spaces where they occurred — from patient segregation and race science research to labor discrimination and civil rights activism. For me, this experience reinforced how important it is for all of us to understand how this history continues to influence UVA Health and our relationship with the surrounding Charlottesville community. That's especially relevant now as we continue to chart UVA Health's strategic direction and envision "One Future Together."
This week, UVA Health is celebrating the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with “Flourishing Together: Restoring The Humanity, Dignity and Well-being of Our Beloved Community” — a week of events, many focused on health equity and the important role we play in our community. Dan Cavanaugh from the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library will lead another experiential learning tour of the Medical Center's West Complex on Friday. And later that afternoon, Melody M. Pannell, Director of Diversity and Community Engagement, will facilitate a discussion about utilizing a trauma informed lens concerning the history of race at UVA Health. These are just a few of the many opportunities to engage with our history and learn more about health equity. View the full calendar of events here, including information on registering. (For questions about these events, please email [email protected].)
We must remember the past to make positive progress in the future. And so, I invite you to join us as we come together as a community to honor and carry on Dr. King's work to combat inequity and injustice in healthcare and beyond.
Take care and be well!
PS— More information about the 2022 Community MLK Celebration at UVA, including other events in our area, can be found here. Also, for access to great educational resources for you and your teams, the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library has topics guides on health disparities, anti-racism, and racism in healthcare and health science education.