June 1, 2021

Confronting Racial Inequities at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

In July 2020, we affirmed our commitment to dismantling racism and battling all forms of discrimination with five overarching actions (please find actions below), including establishing a Racial Equity Task Force. The RETF met from September through December 2020 and submitted recommendations to VUMC and VUSM leadership at the end of 2020. The summary report of major themes and primary recommendations of the RETF can be found here; this report is available to the public and can be shared widely. The VUMC and VUSM community can access an expanded version here; this report is intended for internal use only. Questions about this report can be directed to OHEinfo@vumc.org

 

May 7, 2021

In July 2020, we affirmed our commitment to dismantling racism and battling all forms of discrimination with five overarching actions (please find actions below), including establishing a Racial Equity Task ForceThe RETF met from September through December 2020 and submitted recommendations to VUMC and VUSM leadership at the end of 2020.  Intended for internal use only, please find the Executive Summary and recommendations here.   Questions about this report can be directed to OHEinfo@vumc.org

 

July 8, 2020

In recent years, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine have taken concrete steps to make diversity, inclusion and equity intentional and foundational to its strategic commitments. But fulfilling these commitments requires a larger focus on confronting the enduring legacy of racism including the structures and systems that disadvantage groups and drive health inequities. Today, we affirm our commitment to dismantling racism and battling all forms of discrimination.

 

We are committed to the following actions:

 

  1. The Office of Health Equity, working in concert with the VUMC Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the School of Medicine Office for Diversity Affairs, the VUMC Office of Human Resources, the Office of Health Sciences Education, and the Office of the VUMC CEO and Dean, School of Medicine will immediately convene a Task Force, charged with identifying barriers to achieving racial equity at VUMC and recommending key action plans. The Task Force will include individuals representing medical center staff, students, trainees and faculty. The Task Force will:
    • Solicit input from across all VUMC divisions and departments in the School of Medicine
    • Obtain feedback from staff, students, trainees, and faculty using surveys, town hall meetings, crowd sourcing, and departmental meetings
    • Use strategies to elicit input from individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups working throughout the medical center
    • Consider and present options that represent significant institutional investments to combat structural racism
    • Results from these efforts, as well as those outlined below, will be provided to the Office of the CEO and Dean and will be shared with the medical center community along with action plans to address the findings before the end of calendar year 2020

 

  1. Prepare and deliver anti-racism training to senior leaders including the CEO of VUMC and Dean, School of Medicine, the Deputy CEO and Chief Health System Officer, the VUMC Board, School of Medicine department chairs, and other senior leaders within VUMC and the School of Medicine. 

 

  1. With support from racial equity and anti-racism experts, examine whether existing policies, practices and organizational culture disadvantage or have unintended negative consequences for racial/ethnic minorities. Actions currently planned include:
    • Eliminate the use of race-based glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
    • Review salaries (by job code) by race
    • Provide all incoming first year medical students education on anti-racism and physicians’ roles in racial equity and eliminating health inequities
    • Rename Dixie Place, and identify other renaming imperatives at VUMC  

 

  1. Take steps within the Office of Health Sciences Education (OHSE) to reassert the medical center’s commitment to an inclusive learning environment, and to identify gaps and opportunities to embed structural racism, racial equity and health inequities in the health professions curriculum. (more details about the OHSE plan are here)
    • Prepare OHSE leaders to facilitate discussions on race, racism and racial equity, and to critically review the curriculum for stereotypes, misinformation, and race-based medicine
    • As noted above, provide anti-racism education to all incoming first year medical students
    • Integrate content on racism and racial equity into the curricula of all School of Medicine programs
    • Evaluate the Foundations of Healthcare Delivery and Learning Communities for opportunities to broaden content on racial equity and health inequities.
    • Engage students, faculty and staff to identify opportunities to make the learning environment more inclusive, specifically for racial minority groups, and embed additional content on racial equity and health inequities

 

  1. Expand the Office of Health Equity and related programs to increase the availability of racial equity resources available, including anti-racism training, unconscious and implicit bias training, cultural humility training, racial equity consultants, and tools to evaluate policies, practices, curricula, and other systems. Established in 2019, the Office of Health Equity was established to complement the VUMC Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the School of Medicine Office for Diversity Affairs, and the VUMC Office of Human Resources in assuring that the growing, diverse populations of patients, students and trainees, staff, and faculty at VUMC and in the School of Medicine experience equality and fairness in their care, their work, their education and training, and their career opportunities. 

Help Us Address Racial Equity at VUMC and VUSM

In recent years, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine have taken concrete steps to make diversity, inclusion and equity intentional and foundational to its strategic commitments. But fulfilling these commitments requires a larger focus on confronting the enduring legacy of racism including the structures and systems that disadvantage groups and drive health inequities. Today, we affirm our commitment to dismantling racism and battling all forms of discrimination.

Please use this form to give us suggestions, feedback, or to join with us as we put our commitment to action.