In this issue’s cover story, you’ll find responses from a wide range of Johns Hopkins leaders that focus primarily on improving health outcomes for people of color and dismantling roadblocks to advancement for underrepresented physicians.
What we don’t cover are efforts underway by Johns Hopkins people like Regina Gail Malloy.
As co-chair of the Johns Hopkins Diaspora, Malloy is concentrating on improving equity and support for the more than 12,000 African American/Black employees at Johns Hopkins Medicine, as well as patients and community members. In the year since its founding, the group has accomplished a lot and been active in taking the pulse of Black employees, notably with a survey that went out earlier this summer.
As Malloy noted to writer Linell Smith: “Our employees are facing issues that we would not know about unless they tell us.” Indeed. While 33 percent responded that they had never faced racism in their Johns Hopkins departments, 44 percent said they sometimes did; 15 percent said that they often did; and 8 percent responded “always.”
The survey findings were discussed at a subsequent live online “Candid Conversation on Race and Equality” with Johns Hopkins’ top leaders and Malloy as moderator. That discussion, and other initiatives of the Hopkins Diaspora, have already sparked change across Johns Hopkins.
Malloy is buoyed — and committed to continuing the Diaspora’s efforts. “Staff voices have power,” she told Smith. “I’m hoping that this experience will encourage staff to continue to talk, to speak up, and to ask questions.”
The article “No Bullies Allowed” [Spring/Summer] brought to mind an incident that occurred many years ago during a lecture on gyn pathology that I have never forgotten.
A rather prominent professor made an offhanded remark/joke having to do with female anatomy. At that point, a very brave female student stood up, marched to the front of the room, pointed a finger at the individual and said, “Sir, you are a pig.” She then marched out of the room and was soon followed by the majority of the women in our class. Unfortunately, none of the male students (including myself) followed their example.
Fifty years (and five granddaughters) later, I still remember the admiration I had for that student and trust that this would not happen in the Hopkins of today.
Peter Gallerstein, M.D. ’74
A Long Fight Ahead
These are unprecedented times for everybody, for the sick people and professionals who work in the Johns Hopkins Health Systems, and in many cities around the world. Fighting COVID-19 is hard, and it seems it'll be a long fight.
In this context, I sincerely congratulate you for the extra effort which you have done in editing the Spring/Summer issue of the Hopkins Medicine magazine. And I'm very thankful for the example and leadership of the Johns Hopkins medical, public health and nonmedical personnel.
Frank G. Hammond, M.D., M.H.S. ’77
Fellow, Medical Genetics, 1975–77