Harold Jordan Lecture celebrating Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice 2/5 | Ruth Shim, MD, MPH

Jordan Lecture: Ruth Shim

Friday February 5. 2021

12:00 noon CDT | via Zoom Webinar

  SLIDES: Feb 5 Harold Jordan Lecture Celebrating Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice | Shim

"Social (In)Justice and Mental Health"

On Friday, February 5, 2021, Ruth Shim, M.D., MPH, will present on her work in mental health disparities and social determinants of mental health, which shares the title of her recently published book, Social (In)Justice and Mental Health

Ruth Shim, MD, MPH is the Luke & Grace Kim Professor in Cultural Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. She is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Director of Cultural Psychiatry, and Chair of the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Faculty Excellence in Diversity at UC Davis Health.

Dr. Shim received an MPH in health policy from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and an MD from Emory University School of Medicine. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association for Community Psychiatry. She serves on the Research and Evaluation Committee of the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.

She serves on the Editorial Boards of Psychiatric Services, Community Mental Health Journal, and American Psychiatric Publishing, and is co-editor of the books, The Social Determinants of Mental Health and Social (In)Justice and Mental Health. She is a 2018-2019 Fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program, and an at-large member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. Dr. Shim’s research focuses on mental health disparities and inequities, and she provides clinical psychiatric care in the UC Davis Early Diagnosis and Preventative Treatment (EDAPT) Clinic.


About The Harold Jordan Lecture Celebrating Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice:

In 1964, Harold Jordan, M.D., became the first African American resident at VUMC, where he maintained a clinical appointment until 2016. He went on to serve as the Chair of Psychiatry and Dean of the School of Medicine at Meharry Medical College. He also served as the Assistant Commissioner for Psychiatric Services and the Commissioner of Mental Health and Mental Retardation in Tennessee. In fact, one of the buildings on the campus for the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDDs) is named after him based on his contributions. 

In 2019, the Harold Johnson Diversity and Inclusion Lecture was established by the VUMC Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department to honor his contributions to the field of psychiatry, mental health services in the state of Tennessee, and to our department and neighboring Meharry Medical College. In 2019, the inaugural lecture was given by Lloyda Williamson, M.D., the current chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Meharry Medical College. She was a student during Dr. Jordan’s appointment as chair, and her lecture focused on the importance of increasing the number of Black psychiatrists, and encouraging recruitment, advocacy, and inclusion to combat disparities in professional representation. In 2020, Francis Lu, M.D., presented on tools for culturally competent care in the DSM-5, including the outline for cultural formulation and the cultural formulation interview. 

In 2020, the leadership of the Department felt an increased obligation as providers of mental health care to address additional issues around social justices, implicit and explicit bias, and structural racism that remain pervasive within foundational policies and institutions of our country including STEM education, healthcare delivery and access, and specifically mental health care, to name a few. The impact of these destructive deep-rooted institutional policies as they relate to mental health care have also been highlighted in many venues in recent months including by the APA and AACP, and AACAP. Indeed, long-standing issues of racism, segregation, poverty, exposure to violence including police violence, food and housing insecurity, and criminalization of mental health, are deeply linked to increased risk for, and morbidity and mortality from, mental illness and therefore affect us profoundly as mental health care providers. 

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences condemns behaviors, practices, and policies that perpetuate racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other issues that target members of our community.
Such discrimination and bigotry unjustly contribute to medical and psychological morbidity, economic inequality, and mortality.  The Department is committed to ending these behaviors, practices and policies by  providing an inclusive and supportive environment for our faculty, staff, and trainees, and also advocating for change in our community to facilitate better care and outcomes for our patients.


CME/CE credit for Psychiatry Grand Rounds is only available during the live feed time and for a brief time immediately following. The code for this week's session is displayed at the opening and closing of the meeting and also in the Chair's Office Zoom Account Name during the meeting.


For CME/CE information about this session, please visit:


Related Articles:

Psychiatry lecture focuses on mental health disparities
(VUMC Reporter February 18, 2021)

Inaugural lecture honors Jordan’s contributions
(VUMC Reporter February 14, 2019)

Hidden Figure
(VUMC Voice September 5, 2017)

The webinar can be viewed at the link below:

  Feb 5 Harold Jordan Lecture Celebrating Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice | Shim

This talk was sponsored by the

Luton Lecture Fund

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
This educational activity received no commercial support.


Grand Rounds Enrichment Discussion

On Wednesday, February 3, 2021, M.E. Wood, Ph.D., will host the Grand Rounds Enrichment Discussion (GRED) ahead of the Harold Jordan Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Lecture with invited speaker, Ruth Shim, MD, MPH. The discussion will focus on Dr. Shim’s decision to leave organized psychiatry in the context of structural racism (Shim, 2020), as well as a review of data and measurement issues in this area of research (Billheimer & Klein, 2010).
Shim, R. (2020). Structural racism is why I’m leaving organized psychiatry. STAT.
Bilheimer, L. T., & Klein, R. J. (2010). Data and measurement issues in the analysis of health disparities. Health Services Research, 45, 1489-1507. doi:10/1111/j.1475-6773-2010.01143x