Committing to Inclusion

At Health Sciences and all across West Virginia University, we're focused on fostering a more inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff that extends across the University and beyond.

Read more about the campus wide efforts.

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Our Values

Our Values

Diversity at Health Sciences matters. When we are more diverse, we are more creative and innovative. We have more opportunities for change and growth as we encounter beliefs and values that are different from our own.

Diversity creates an environment that supports productivity through a family of people who feel a sense of belonging and appreciation. That’s what we’re trying to do here at Health Sciences — create a culture of inclusive excellence.

Committing to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In January 2019, Health Sciences leaders renewed a partnership with WVU’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Through that partnership, committees were formed at each of the five health schools, as well as a cross-cutting committee and an oversight committee, all comprised of students, staff, faculty and administrators. In all, more than 90 individuals have formally committed to cultivating a more inclusive community at Health Sciences.

Elevating Health Solutions from Our Values

Our future providers must mirror our global population. People from all different backgrounds seek care from us, and we must be able to understand their individual and cultural needs. Without an understanding of our where our patients come from, we cannot effectively provide compassionate, patient-centered care. 

Across Health Sciences, we’re redoubling our commitment to curricular and experiential training in equity, inclusion and diversity to create balanced, healthy and socially conscious graduates and providers. We're also focusing our research on the social disparities suffered by our West Virginia community, including African American communities. We recognize racism is a public health crisis and we're empowering our campus to learn more and take action. 

Our Plan

All across the Health Sciences campus, we value diversity, equity and inclusion. We’re taking action in a number of ways to create the best experience possible for individuals from all walks of life — from admissions and hiring to coursework and campus recreation.

For Admissions and Hiring

The HSC Office of Academic Affairs is working with the Office of the Provost and the ADVANCE center to roll out the Inclusive Hiring Initiative at the Health Sciences Center. The Director of Faculty Affairs, Culture and Inclusion will work with department heads and search committees to advise on best practices for running an inclusive search and provide workshops focused on attracting a more diverse faculty. We’re also creating new welcome materials and processes to ease the transition for new faculty, staff and trainees from the international community.

For Students

We’re creating learning opportunities that provide for delivery of inclusive healthcare practices, and increasing examples of underrepresented individuals into clinical cases, OSCEs and patient counseling activities. We’re also connecting the student organizations on campus — Multicultural Association of Students in HealthcareMinorities Aspiring in Health ProfessionsStudent Healthcare Alliance for Promoting EqualityStudent National Medical Association — to create a mentorship pipeline, so they have a ready-made support system.

Across Health Sciences

We’re bringing more diverse speakers to seminars and workshops. We’re participating in a number of training opportunities to raise awareness of implicit bias, microaggressions and more. We’re using inclusive language, as well as reviewing course syllabi for regulatory body DEI policy and inclusive language. We're also elevating those who are underrepresented in leadership roles

Our diversity is our source of our strength as we face medicine’s most daunting challenges — from geography to specialty to age and gender. Our uniquely lived experiences shape who we are as people and as physicians.
Dr. Patrice Harris The first African American female president of the American Medical Association and a WVU graduate

Our Progress

We know we have many areas surrounding DEI in which we can improve. But we also want to highlight some of the ways we're progressing along the way.

  • WVU Medicine and all affiliated hospitals, rural clinics and providers have implemented a program and training called Advancing Excellence in Gender-Affirming Care. And at the WVU School of Medicine, at least two departments — Family Medicine and Pediatrics — are incorporating transgender care into their curriculum by including standardized patients who are transgender.
  • The WVU School of Public Health has welcomed Dr. W. Constinia Charbonnette as a liaison for Health Sciences DEI Initiatives. She brings expertise in leadership, policy development, and graduate and higher education to the role. 
  • The Director of Outreach and Recruitment for the School of Medicine M.D. program mentors more than 200 pre-medical students per year. Pipeline programs have supported diverse applicant pool, including Special Operations Medic Pipeline program with military applicants and MedStep with Shepherd University students and a program with West Virginia State University, a leading historically Black college/university.
  • The Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) T32 Training Program will offer scholarships for 2021 to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across scientific disciplines. Selection will focus on research and service, including community-related outreach or clinical service, that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion either within academia or the local community/rural Appalachia. 

Let’s go... together.