Q&A: How COVID-19 Is Exposing Health Care Inequities

Posted: April 17, 2020, 9:47am


As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the United States, data is beginning to emerge showing the disproportionate impact of the virus in minority communities, particularly African American communities.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control released a study of a representative group of hospitalized patients showing that the percentage of black patients hospitalized for COVID-19 was much higher than the percentage of African Americans in the population as a whole, “suggesting that black populations might be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”

Four University of Virginia doctors – Dr. Taison Bell, Dr. Ebony Hilton-Buchholz, Dr. Bryant Cameron Webb and Dr. Leigh-Ann Webb – are among a group of physicians who initially raised the alarm about these trends, pushing state and federal officials to release demographic data about the spread of COVID-19. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Caroline Newman) 

UVA’s Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Leadership Award Goes to Three Recipients

Posted: April 15, 2020, 8:43am


Three members of the University of Virginia community who have shown persistence and innovation in working on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts – all with a focus on different areas of health care – will receive John T. Casteen III Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Leadership Awards.

The three recipients are:

  • Biomedical engineering graduate student Samantha Melinda Perez, who has opened the door to underrepresented graduate students in her field and across Grounds.
  • Dr. Catherine Casey, an associate professor of family medicine, one of the founders of UVA’s first multidisciplinary Adult Transgender Clinic.
  • Elizabeth Beasley, director of community partnerships for UVA Health, who works to foster relationships with local organizations and community members to address and reduce health disparities.


Source: UVA Today (Anne Bromley)

Ryan Announces Emergency Fund to Assist Contract Workers, UVA Employees

Posted: April 7, 2020, 1:33pm


University of Virginia President Jim Ryan on Monday announced the creation of a $2 million emergency fund to assist workers furloughed by contractors and a separate $1 million contribution to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation.

In a message to the University community, Ryan said the new fund and the contribution were part of UVA’s commitment to “doing our best to be a good neighbor and to live our values.”

“That means, among other things, doing what we can to support our most vulnerable community members,” he said. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (McGregor McCance)

New “Arts on the Hill” Series Debuts at Carr’s Hill with Moving, Live Performances

Posted: March 5, 2020, 9:42am


Fragrant winter jasmine and unseasonably warm temperatures welcomed arts enthusiasts to the residence of University of Virginia President Jim Ryan Wednesday afternoon for “Arts on the Hill,” a free, new series of performances for students, faculty and staff.

The brainchild of Ryan, Provost Liz Magill and Vice Provost for the Arts Jody Kielbasa, “Arts on the Hill” will be a regular occurrence during the academic year, with free tickets available through a lottery.

“Welcome to the first edition of “Arts on the Hill,” Ryan told the crowd. “It’s a very simple concept. About once a month we are going to invite artists, either from among our faculty or students or visiting artists to perform at Carr’s Hill. This is a way to showcase the amazing talent we have here on Grounds among our faculty and students and also to take advantage of the fact that Charlottesville is a real crossroads for incredible artists coming through.” (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Jane Kelly)

On and Around Grounds, Diversity Leader Emphasizes Inclusiveness and Community

Posted: March 5, 2020, 9:40am


From advocating for prisoners in his early law career to leading major universities’ diversity and equity efforts, Kevin G. McDonald has been working on social justice concerns and helping create inclusive communities for nearly 25 years.

McDonald, who in August became the University of Virginia’s vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, is not a stranger to Virginia, having served as Virginia Tech’s vice president for equity and inclusion from 2007 to 2010, but he had only been to Charlottesville once before coming to UVA. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Anne Bromley)