Portsmouth just held two meetings to review EVMS' diversity and inclusion practices and culture, in the wake of governor's medical yearbook picture

June 17, 2019

     The Portsmouth Community Advisory Board recently launched an internal and external review of the diversity, equity and inclusion practices and culture at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

    It hired SIR, a Richmond-based research and consulting firm, to perform the internal assessment, via one-on-one student, faculty and staff interviews, as well as, focus groups comprised of students from, both, the under-represented populations and the general population.

     It will also conduct an online survey of all students, faculty and staff and will distribute an online community survey to the public.

    The external assessment was recently conducted by the board initially via two, free and open to the public, town hall meetings.

     Facilitated by board member Ed Ayers, Ph.D., former president of the University of Richmond, the town hall meeting allowed attendees to provide feedback about EVMS, submit questions to the board members and complete the online surveys.

     Richard Homan, M.D., president, provost and dean of the EVMS School of Medicine, appointed the board members in February, after news reports revealed a racist photograph on Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s EVMS yearbook page.


The culture of diversity, equity and inclusion within EVMS, and the perceptions of the community it serves, was the focus of the board’s work. (Sun image.)



     After weeks of research and deliberation regarding the best approach to this issue, board members determined it would best serve the community by focusing on more than just yearbooks.

    The culture of diversity, equity and inclusion within EVMS, and the perceptions of the community it serves, will also be the focus of the board’s work.

     It will combine its findings, from the town hall meetings and other community listening sessions, with the research studies to craft a final report, with recommendations, to submit to Homan and EVMS leadership.

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