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.

Public Health student mapping the way for increased accessibility across campus
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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, Excellence 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. Without true empathy for our patients, we cannot help them find real, meaningful health solutions. We cannot have empathy without exposing ourselves to their stories and immersing ourselves in their lives.

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

We’re assessing procedures concerning DEI principles, as well as focusing on strategic recruitment and sharing best practices for search committees and outreach. Once our students, faculty and staff are here, we want to make sure they feel welcome. To do that, we’re identifying and implementing DEI resources and programming for the Health Sciences community, both on and off-campus. 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 Healthcare; Minorities Aspiring in Health Professions; Student Healthcare Alliance for Promoting Equality — 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 also participating in a number of training opportunities to raise awareness of implicit bias, microaggressions and more. We’re also using inclusive language, as well as reviewing course syllabi for regulatory body DEI policy and inclusive language.

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.

  • We’re in the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 25th quartile for endowments held by women
  • We have implemented a new Diversity, Inclusion and Healthcare Disparities curriculum thread for undergraduate medical students, which includes 55-plus learning events threaded throughout four years
  • Our biomedical sciences graduate programs have developed a holistic rubric for applicant review and guide applicants to provide a more global narrative of their skills, goals and experiences, including obstacles in their educational journey as part of their personal statement
  • Our School of Public Health has launched a Common Read program, highlighting the books Educated, Hillbilly Elegy, The Hate U Give

Let’s go... together.