Toward a Healthier Virginia for All
This article is part of an ongoing series of stories highlighting VCU Health programs and initiatives aimed at addressing issues of access and equity in health care.
Few people have done more to connect VCU Health and its partners with the communities they serve than Sheryl Garland, VCU Health’s chief of health impact and executive director of the VCU Office of Health Equity.
“She continues to work hard to link to the community and improve the health of all residents of Richmond and Virginia,” said Lisa G. Kaplowitz, M.D., a former faculty member who credits much of the positive change she’s witnessed at VCU Health in recent years to Garland.
For example, thanks in part to Garland’s efforts, all VCU Health students now have opportunities to learn about health care inequities and the historical narratives that have influenced VCU Health.
Garland’s efforts inspired Dr. Kaplowitz to fund a lectureship that would examine social determinants of health and health disparity issues. Dr. Kaplowitz’s career spans a variety of public health roles and includes 20 years as faculty within the VCU School of Medicine.
I am excited that the lectureship will create the opportunity to bring in speakers who will provide expert commentary on topics that align with institutional efforts to understand and reckon with our history.
Sheryl Garland, Executive Director, VCU Office of Health Equity
The Kaplowitz/ Garland Health Equity Lectureship in the VCU College of Health Professions Department of Health Administration will be part of a larger symposium series at VCU Health.
“Health systems are now being judged by their impact on overall health, which is the realm of public health,” Dr. Kaplowitz said. “It is essential that health systems partner with public health to improve the overall health of communities. The alliance of health care and public health is essential to truly address health inequities and engage communities in developing solutions.”
She added: “I have valued my collaboration with Sheryl in the past and am glad to support her efforts.”
Garland said VCU Health is honored to have the support of Dr. Kaplowitz and her family to launch this lectureship. It will add breadth to programming and activities that help enhance understanding of today’s health disparities and inequities experienced by communities that VCU Health serves.
“I am excited that the lectureship will create the opportunity to bring in speakers who will provide expert commentary on topics that align with institutional efforts to understand and reckon with our history,” Garland said. “The goal now and in the future is to motivate and empower participants to initiate changes not only at a personal level, but also within the institutions and communities where they are engaged.”