Quote with headshot

Our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion enables us to provide culturally competent care, and create a vibrant community that promotes personal and professional growth.

Rachelle Hunley
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Commitment Goes Beyond Words

Driven by personal experiences of loss, Rachelle Hunley, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Department of Surgery, reflects on her deep commitment to improving access to healthcare, fostering trust, and ensuring a comfortable experience for patients at VCU Health. At the VCU Department of Surgery, we prioritize creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment where everyone is valued and supported. We believe that embracing the unique perspectives and backgrounds of our faculty, staff, and students is vital to delivering excellent patient care, conducting impactful research, and providing quality education. Our dedication enables us to deliver culturally competent care, encourage innovation, and foster a vibrant community that promotes personal and professional growth. Through ongoing efforts, we empower all members of our department to reach their full potential and contribute to the betterment of society.

We recognize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as fundamental principles for building a sustainable healthcare model, ensuring staff satisfaction, and meeting the diverse needs of our patient population. Our dedicated DEI task force guides us in creating an equitable healthcare environment capable of addressing future health challenges. Through various initiatives like baseline assessments and the Emerging Leaders Program, we strengthen our culture, address implicit bias, respond to staff concerns, and provide essential support to underserved populations. Our goal is to have a workforce that reflects the diversity of our patients.

Our commitment goes beyond words as we actively listen to our community and launch programs such as mentorship initiatives for women in leadership and trauma-informed care for the LGBTQ+ community. By implementing staff-driven recruitment and retention programs, we ensure a representative and empathetic workforce. At VCU Health, diversity is not just a concept; it is a commitment to fairness, understanding, and representation in delivering the best healthcare outcomes.