Dear Colleagues-Friends,

Several months ago, with your input and support, we embarked on implementing a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) action plan for our School of Medicine. As another vital component of this progressive action plan, we are pleased now to announce the members of our School of Medicine’s first Inclusion Council (IC).

The IC is a pivotal leadership forum, and its creation is a particularly significant milestone as we continue to work to turn meaningful dialogue about DEI and social justice into action and engagement.

Inclusion Council Membership

We are most grateful to the commitment and leadership of Dr. Robert Findling, chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and Dr. Donna Jackson, assistant dean for admissions, who have kindly agreed to co-chair the IC.

This group brings together representatives from across our school’s community to create and sustain a forum for school-level dialogue on DEI issues. The inaugural members of the IC, serving from 2020–2022, are:

Medical Student Representatives

  • Gerald Coronado, Class of 2023, president of Med with Pride
  • Medical Student Government representative (TBD)

Graduate Student Representatives

  • Lois Akinola, Ph.D. program, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Pamela Herrada, Ph.D. program, Department of Human and Molecular Genetics

Resident Representative

  • McKensie Lee, M.D., General Surgery
  • Rotating resident member

School of Medicine Faculty Representatives

  • Amelia Grover, M.D., FACS, associate professor, Department of Surgery and director of professionalism, engagement and wellness, Office of Faculty Affairs
  • Maghboeba Mosavel, Ph.D., M.A., associate professor, Department of Health Behavior and Policy
  • Meera Pahuja, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Internal Medicine

School of Medicine Staff Representatives

  • Carrie Boyd, department administrator, Department of Biostatistics
  • Kevin Harris, Ph.D., M.S.A., interim senior associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Katedra Mitchell, M4 clinical curriculum coordinator, Medical Education Curriculum Office
  • Julian Owens, administrator, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
  • Ann-Marie Taranto, human resources administrator, Department of Human Resources

Alumni and Development Representatives

  • Priscilla Wiggins Cash, BSN, RN, senior development officer, Office of Development and Alumni Relations
  • Priscilla Mpasi, M.D., MSHP, M’14, attending physician, Division of Community Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Randy Vince Jr., M.D., H’19, fellow, Society for Urologic Oncology

VCU Health and Community Representatives

  • Marcelle Davis, D.S.L., director of diversity, equity and inclusion, VCU Health
  • Albert Walker III, Th.M, M.Div, director for health equity and community engagement, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation

The IC will meet for the first time next month. We are most grateful to these representatives, our council co-chairs and Dr. Kevin Harris, our interim senior associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, for their commitment, leadership and vision.

Making our workplace and learning environment a place of dignity, professionalism, mutual respect and inclusivity is not the responsibility of one person or group. It involves the engagement and action of everyone within our School of Medicine community. Our students, trainees, faculty, staff, alumni and community members are valued partners who continue to provide essential perspective and context for how we more forthrightly conduct this work, informing meaningful actions.

We remain committed to providing you with communication about pertinent activities going forward and welcome your continued input, advocacy and engagement as we progress on this vital journey together.

With gratitude,

Pter F. Buckley, M.D.; Dean, VCU School of Medicine; Executive vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System