At Wake Forest Baptist Health, diversity has always been one of our core values. Recent events across our country have highlighted the stark need to not only speak up, but also take action about racial inequality, racism and systemic injustice.

Below are some of the ways we are intentionally making Wake Forest Baptist a safe place to work and receive care.

At Wake Forest Baptist Health, we recognize the opportunity and potential benefits that can accrue from bringing individuals with a common identity and experience together. Our internal Affinity Groups provide opportunities to engage around a common identity or experience, to build connections and kinship, develop a network for mentorship, and help provide education to the broader WFBH community. Two of these Affinity Groups – Black/African American and Allies and White Allies for Human Equity – recently hosted a discussion session on the realities of race in America. 

Dr. Julie Freischlag, our CEO and Dean, recently announced the formation of a task force to identify and prioritize actions that address the needs of traditionally underrepresented communities, starting with a focus on the Black/African American community. This task force will steer our Wake Forest Baptist commitment in words and deeds.

The Office of Inclusion and Diversity is hosting a new internal series each Friday called Finding Our Voice, Sharing Our Truth, Leading to Change.  

The School of Medicine has important efforts underway to train our learners. This education with our learners extends beyond the classroom to impact the affective learning experience and includes opportunities such as Common Ground sessions, which are discussion-based learning opportunities focused on the realities of race and health disparities.

The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE) seeks to improve learning and health outcomes by: providing a Triad Pastors Network of more than 109 African American ecumenical Faith leaders to create health promotion in their congregations and surrounding communities; partnering with the American Indian BioMedical Science (AIMS) Academy that creates a structured summer enrichment experience to engage American Indian high school students with inquiry-based learning resources that influence interest, skills and the pursuit of health and biomedical science careers; and sponsoring a Black Lives Matter: Implications for Health Equity talk about how the criminal justice system affects the health of young Black and Latinx people. 

FaithHealth works mainly with our most vulnerable patients of color and poverty. Currently, they are focusing on social supports and psycho-social-spiritual counsel. This support brings us very close to the families, neighbors and community partners who also are supporting these communities. They also provide ongoing counsel and support to our faculty, learners and staff as they seek to express themselves internally and externally.

Several offices and partners are engaged in a curriculum mapping process to identify where and how students learn lessons about race, oppression, culture, social determinants or health, and health disparities and make improvements.