As we enter the month of February, a time dedicated to honoring Black History, we align ourselves with the 2024 theme, “Racial Healing: The Heart of Racial Equity.” This theme reflects our commitment to creating a healthcare environment that not only champions diversity and inclusivity, but actively addresses historical racial disparities and health inequities. Our collective goal is to foster relationships and promote learning that keeps us moving toward a more just and equitable future—as envisioned by this theme and our ASPIRE goal of equity—for our patients, communities, and one another.
To reinforce the importance of this year’s Black History Month theme, and in support of our strategic plan goal of cultivating healthy communities and belonging for all, we are pleased to share some of the relationship building we are doing in an effort to improve racial equity, particularly in Charlottesville’s Fifeville neighborhood.
With the help of our invaluable community partners in Fifeville, UVA Health provides wellness programs for community members such as A1Cs to test glucose levels; blood pressure checks; flu and COVID vaccines; Medicaid education; hands-only CPR training; cancer screening information; as well as food access and nutrition programs. At the start of these programs and during a six-month period—June to December last year—over 115 people participated in one of these programs. We are grateful for the collaborative efforts of the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, UVA Cancer Center, School of Nursing, and School of Medicine, and others, which have supported these efforts in the Fifeville community, consistently partnering and building trust in the community to ensure the health of one of our closest neighboring communities.
In appreciation for the work we’re doing in Fifeville, our community partner, Abundant Life Ministries, recently honored the UVA Health Office of Diversity and Community Engagement with the “Outstanding Community Partner Award.” We take pride in the progress we’ve achieved while recognizing that there is still significant work ahead in advancing our goal of health equity across the communities we proudly serve.
We are thankful to all team members who share in our vision, actively contributing to the realization of equity for all Virginians and beyond, and we invite you to join your colleagues in various Black History Month events across UVA Health throughout the month of February.
Thank you for your unwavering dedication to our patients, our communities, and to each other.
K. Craig Kent, MD
Chief Executive Officer, UVA Health
Tracy M. Downs, MD
Chief Diversity and Community Engagement Officer, UVA Health
Marianne Baernholdt, PhD
Dean, UVA School of Nursing
Wendy Horton, PharmD
Chief Executive Officer, UVA Health University Medical Center
Melina R. Kibbe, MD
Dean, UVA School of Medicine
J. Scott Just, MD
Chief Executive Officer, UVA Physicians Group
Chief Executive Officer, UVA Community Health