Make diversity and Inclusion Intentional logo

Make Diversity and Inclusion Intentional

We will reflect the diversity of the populations and staff we serve in our teams, programs and communications; and be inclusive in our processes and decisions.


Statement of Importance:

The populations we serve are increasingly diverse with growing health disparities, and the people working at Vanderbilt represent growing diversity. Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our success in reducing health disparities in the populations we serve. Moreover, a workforce that is not only diverse, but also inclusive in nature, is more effective at crafting innovative solutions to the major challenges of health care and in executing on those solutions as a team.

  • VUMC Community Circle Logo Our collaborative culture to be inclusive, and to reflect the diversity of the populations we serve
    • Developing the VUMC Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) website
    • Creating the VUMC Community Circle (image right: Community Circle logo). A Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) student‐led organization that every quarter brings all elements of VUMC together to discuss, in open forum, societal issues that touch or are germane to medicine (2018)
    • Establishing employee resource groups to support, enhance career development, and contribute to personal development among employees who share similar characteristics or life experiences. LGBTQ group is the first to be established (2018)
    • United Voices of Vanderbilt Group Photo Establishing LGBTQ Health Community Advisory Board to intentionally include community voices in care, services, and research (2018)
    • Creating the United Voices of Vanderbilt Choir (group image at right) (2018)
  • Diversity of our teams, faculty and leadership
    • Established the VUMC Chief Diversity Officer position (Andre Churchwell) to provide leadership across mission areas (more)
    • Developing D&I people pillar goals, beginning with inclusion of underrepresented minorities (URM) in applicant pool and retention of URM faculty
  • Strategies to achieve health equity and reduce health disparities in all programs
    • Establishing the positions of vice president for health equity at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and associate dean for health equity with the VUSM (Consuelo Wilkins) and the Office of Health Equity  to connect existing community health and health equity initiatives from across the organization while scaling system-wide efforts to identify and address disparities in health (more) (2019)
    • Trans Buddy Volunteers Group PhotoOver 200 ongoing Health Disparity Research projects in VUMC and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN)
    • Establishing the Trans Buddy program, which utilizes trained volunteers to support transgender patients during any kind of healthcare visit (group image at right) (2015)
    • Creating patient phone line and web page to direct LGBTQ patients to finding culturally competent care (2016)
    • Opening two clinics – one pediatric and one adult – focused on transgender health (2018)
    • Performing a full array of gender affirmation surgeries for transgender patients (2019)
  • Representation of our diversity in recognition and awards
    • Creating faculty and staff awards named after women and URMs

  • Welcoming and inclusive environment where diverse cultures see themselves within the fabric of the organization
    • Light Hall Faculty PortraitsAdding portraits that reflect and celebrate the diverse nature of our community, faculty, students and staff
      Creating an Honor Wall of Hidden VUMC Figures that is updated each year that has a picture and a description of each Hidden Figure’s contribution to the VUMC culture and history
    • Adding the LGBTQ community to the Community Health Needs Assessment (2019)
  • Weave and integrate a consciousness to elements of diversity, equity and inclusion
    • Training the entire VUMC enterprise on how to identify and respond to UCB, and developing patient satisfaction metrics sensitive to UCB training
    • Developing D&I people pillar goals, beginning with inclusion of URMs in applicant pool and retention of URM faculty, and continuing with patient satisfaction metrics sensitive to UCB training
  • Processes that ensure diverse voices and perspectives are included in decision making and communication at all levels
    • Creating the Executive Diversity Council that includes VUMC leadership with the intent to educate all on our ongoing VUMC D&I activities and to catalyze all senior leaders to own D&I as part of their official function. (2016)
    • Developing the Diversity & Inclusion Intentionality Planning Tool for use in formation of  VUMC committees and ensuring multiple perspectives in decision making.  For example, VUSM Marketing is using the Intentionality Tool to ensure the Epic‐MHAV portal message, and use is promulgated to all races, ethnicities, people of color, LGBT couples, etc. (2017/2018)
  • Resources and coaching to help academic and clinical units promote and improve diversity and inclusion in all of their activities
    • Developing VUMC‐wide workforce climate policies and processes on Uncivil Behavior and how to respond. Programs rolled out and in process include those on Sexual Harassment and Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities (2018)
    • ODA-Global Workplaces DiagramCreating Diversity Liaison teams that connect to the ODA (diagram, right, click for larger image) that embed the best practices of diversity and inclusion into the culture of clinical and non‐clinical departments (2018)

    • Establishing LGBTQ health internship as a pipeline for underrepresented sexual and gender minority health science students (2015)
    • Building an ODA website that organically updates VUMC D&I activities (2019)
    • Creating an organic VUMC Diversity Timeline that in a linear fashion notes when key positions and events occurred that add to the richness of our D&I experiences (2018)

VUMC Diversity Timeline

VUMC Diversity Timeline noting key positions and events that add richness of our diversity and inclusion experiences

(Click image to view in full size)