Panel Discussion Explores Diversity in Health Care Education and Practice
In celebration of Black History Month, the VCU School of Nursing’s Cultural Action Committee recently brought together experts from the university and greater Richmond community for the Jackie Jackson Memorial Cultural Diversity Lecture. Featuring a panel discussion on “Diversity Now: 21st Century Health Care Education and Practice,” the event kicked off with a leading address by Kevin Harris, M.S.A., vice president for Academic and Diversity Affairs in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at VCU, who discussed VCU’s diversity efforts. In addition to Harris, panelists included Candace Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., RN, assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Health Nursing; Samuel Hunter, M.D., a member of the executive committee of the Old Dominion Medical Society and president of the Richmond Medical Society; and Jon Tirk, community organizer for the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. The panelists discussed challenges in defining who is considered diverse, factors within and outside of health care that affect minorities’ perception of it, and the importance of cultural competence in the delivery of care. All agreed that although great strides have been made, a lot more needs to be done to build trust and educate the community on access to health care. Below are scenes from the panel discussion.