Conversations About Inclusion and Diversity

In Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month

By Corrinne Fahl

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we would like to highlight two of our stellar Hispanic faculty in the Perelman School of Medicine. Hispanic Heritage month was passed by Congress on September 17, 1968. Public Law 90-48 calls upon the “people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe such week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

Currently, PSOM has 3.13% full time faculty who self-identify as Hispanic or Latinx, and the incoming 2020 medical school class was 10.9% Hispanic/Latinx.

Dr Diaz ArrastiaDr. Diaz-Arrastia is Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he leads the TBI Clinical Research Initiative.  His research interests are focused on understanding the molecular, cellular, and tissue level mechanisms of neuronal injury and neuroregeneration, with…

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Celebrating the Women of ACT: One Year Later

By Eve Higginbotham SM, MD, ML; Kya Hertz, CDP®; Corrie Fahl, MEd

Last year, the national conversation shifted in sharp focus to the structural inequities which have shaped our society for centuries.  We had already witnessed the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on communities of color, however it was the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020which struck the heart and soul of the nation.  The country witnessed a summer of protests and conversations which were focused on the frustration and fatigue related to the continued evidence of structural racism, dating back 400 years.  The confluence of the inequities observed during the pandemic and the continued evidence of inequities in interactions between police and black and brown communities created a national reckoning regarding structural racism not only across the country,…

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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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