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Welcome Letter from Chief Diversity Officer Sherita Hill Golden

Dr. Sherita GoldenDr. Sherita Golden

Welcome to the Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity. It is an honor and privilege for me to serve as the JHM chief diversity officer. A diversified workforce is crucial to achieving health equity, enhancing scientific discovery and strengthening ties to our surrounding communities. JHM needs a diverse and engaged workforce because this is a key hallmark of successful teams, and the diverse mix of staff, faculty and neighborhoods that have a stake in JHM necessitate a vision and structure for diversity, inclusion and engagement. The staff at many of our member organizations are our ambassadors beyond our walls. Their experiences interacting with our faculty and senior staff significantly influence our reputation, credibility and engagement with the community we serve and the patients for whom we care. We all have different roles in patient care — for example, we are physicians, nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals, administrators, and meal delivery and environmental services workers. We each come from different places, and arrived by way of a unique journey to Johns Hopkins. These differences likely contributed to shaping us, and inspire our reactions and perspectives regarding today’s social and health care issues. The better we appreciate and understand our individual perspectives, the more cohesive and engaged our teams will be, which will result in better health care delivery and, ultimately, improved patient satisfaction, participatory decision-making and outcomes.

Our overall goals are to:

  • Recruit, promote, retain and engage those underrepresented in medicine, science, nursing and health care administration at all levels.
  • Partner with the school of medicine Office of Student Pipeline Programs to prepare and inspire talented high school, undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students from communities underrepresented in medicine.
  • Support the Johns Hopkins Health System and school of medicine diversity councils and employee resource groups to enhance staff engagement and serve as stakeholders in informing our institution’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Facilitate a culture of respect, civility, tolerance and improved cultural competency by creating an infrastructure for diversity awareness and cultural competency training. We will also expand the successful Department of Medicine Journeys in Medicine Program institutionwide to include all JHM faculty members, trainees and staff members to open dialogues about social justice issues to enhance our understanding of one another and our diverse patient population.

We are at a critical crossroads in our institution’s history. We have increased our transparency and opened important dialogues about race/ethnicity, inclusion and diversity following the 2015 unrest in Baltimore City after the death of Freddie Gray. The recent announcement that JHM will invest in erecting a clinical research building in honor of Henrietta Lacks is a powerful effort to memorialize the less positive aspects of our past and Mrs. Lacks’ groundbreaking contributions in advancing science in multiple disciplines, and a signal of a bright future in which we will engage in research collaboratively with our neighboring community. To rise to the occasion, it is crucial that we recruit, retain and inspire the next generation of diverse trainees and faculty and staff members at our school of medicine and in our health system.

Sincerely,

Sherita Hill Golden, M.D., M.H.S.
Hugh P. McCormick Family Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer
Johns Hopkins Medicine

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