Conversations About Inclusion and Diversity

Celebrating the Contributions of Women in Medicine and Science at Penn Medicine and Beyond

By Eve Higginbotham SM, MD, ML

Every year, September marks a time when we celebrate the contributions of women to medicine and science.  On September 13, 2021 at noon, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhl, the Newman Family Professor and Deputy Chair in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University Michigan.  Dr. Jagsi is one of the most sought after speakers on the topic of gender equity in medicine, and her visit with us will further stimulate our exploration of strategies to further advance women in science and medicine at Penn.  If you have not yet registered for her virtual presentation "Promoting Equity for Women in Medicine:  Seizing A…

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A Day to Remember, A History We Should Never Forget

By Eve J. Higginbotham SM, MD, ML

As we approach the Juneteenth Holiday, it is important to consider the what, the why, and the where this day should take us on a journey of deep reflection.  In many ways, weaved into this day of remembrance and celebration, there is a dual tribute - acknowledging what this day represents and the hope it should inspire within each of us for the future. 

What Is Today?

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger proclaimed the following order to the people of Texas:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of…

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One Year Ago on May 25: Reflections on This Moment We Share

By Eve Higginbotham SM, MD, ML

One year ago today, on a street in Minneapolis, a man lost his life.  George Floyd parked outside a convenience store in his neighborhood and was accused of passing a counterfeit bill.  A call to the local police quickly escalated to an attempt to place Mr. Floyd in a police vehicle, then a pinning of his body on the ground, and a knee on his neck for more than 9 minutes.   The world soon saw what bystanders witnessed, captured on video by a teenager.  If we had not seen the video, there would be other explanations of this moment.  That video, forever connected us as witnesses to the translation of that moment to a movement. 

In the past year, we…

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And the Verdict is In

By Eve Higginbotham SM, MD, ML

We find ourselves in a crucible moment, for the family of George Floyd, for the families that have lost loved ones, for our nation, and for the world. Where will this lead us, as a community as a society?  From the time of the first video that exposed the circumstances of Mr. Floyd’s death to the verdict we all witnessed on April 20, 2021, laid bare the inequities that occur at the hands of those who hold providence over us.  There are members of the police force who are fully committed to protect and serve our communities, however there are individuals who wear the uniform and carry deep rooted biases to work every day and translate those biases into deadly…

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Anti-Asian Racism in America

By Michelle Guo, Tong Wang, Yuchen Chen

We at the Perelman School of Medicine are deeply saddened by the rise of anti-Asian violence over the past year. Our previous statement is published on our homepage.

We honor and mourn the eight victims who have lost their lives in the most recent Atlanta shooting, six of whom are Asian-American. We’ve listed their names here.

  • Hyun Jung Grant, 51
  • Xiaojie Tan, 49
  • Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33
  • Paul Andre Michels, 54
  • Yong Ae Yue, 63
  • Suncha Kim, 69
  • Soon Chung Park, 74
  • Daoyou Feng, 44

In an attempt to examine how these tragedies have affected some of our medical students, we solicited volunteers who were willing to share how their race and ethnicity have affected different aspects of their…

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In Celebration of the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968

By Eve J. Higginbotham SM, MD, ML

Last night, I read a book of quotations attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seeking both comfort during this period of volatility in our country and inspiration to continue to press on in our shared quest of a more perfect union.  I believe most of us will agree, the violence that we witnessed at the Capitol last week, is not reflective of the country that the Founders envisioned. 

Dr. King devoted his life to nonviolent protests, which is not what we witnessed on January 6, 2021.  The insurrection that shook many of us at our core was more than unsettling, it fundamentally rocked the stability of our democracy.  This week holds great promise, as a new administration enters the…

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Penn pledges $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia

By Corrinne Fahl

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, School Board President Joyce Wilkerson, and Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia William R. Hite Jr., today announced that Penn will contribute $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia, representing an unprecedented commitment to the City and its public schoolchildren. This is the largest private contribution to the School District in its history.

Read the full story here

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In Honor of Veteran's Day

By Eve Higginbotham SM, MD, ML

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the reactivation of the University of Pennsylvania’s 20th General Hospital, deployed in summer 1940 as part of the World War II China–Burma campaign. The hospital's commissioning, preparations, and staff training took place in Philadelphia over a 2-year period. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the hospital was organized and ready for its mission to serve troops in the Burma–China Theater. The 20th General Hospital entered active service on May 15, 1942, with a large and enthusiastic send-off from a supportive crowd at 30th Street Station.

The 20th General Hospital deployment has an enduring legacy because of the leadership of renowned Penn faculty, including Dr. Isidor S. Ravdin, and the contributions of the…

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LDI: Looking Ahead To The New Era of Biden Health Care Policy

By Hoag Levins

As four top policy experts convened in an LDI virtual seminar on November 6 to discuss health care reform in a new administration, Joe Biden was leading the race to capture the White House; but Democrats did not appear to gain majority control of the Senate — an event with major implications for health care. With an eye on the confines of this potential reality, panelists discussed the kinds of things that could be done by a new President without Congressional legislation.

The panel included four LDI Senior Fellows who are leading authorities in the fields of health policy, health law, health economics and health politics: moderator David Grande, MD, MPA, LDI Director of Policy, Allison Hoffman, JD, Professor in the Penn…

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How Can We Go Forward as a Community and as a Society?

By Eve Higginbotham SM, MD, ML

Yesterday at 4PM, a young man lost his life in West Philadelphia.  According to reports, he had a history of mental illness and was brandishing a knife, as he walked towards police.  As I view the video which documented this occurrence, I see a young man, younger than my nephew, who is indeed, walking towards police.  He was not running towards the officers but was simply walking.  Why is it that the initial response to such a circumstance is to release a flurry of bullets?  Why is it that the deadliest display of force is the first response?  Why isn’t it the last strategy? Why not use a Taser first rather than consider this method as an afterthought?  It…

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