Department of Medicine Community

To all Medicine Faculty, Trainees and Staff,

Over the past year we have all faced significant challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the terrible increase in violence, hate crimes and openly hostile attacks targeting people of color. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the world, many Asian/Asian American people have been increasingly targeted and suffered from disparaging racist comments, threats, and physical harm.  In the St. Louis region, some of our DOM/WUSM Asian/Asian American colleagues and trainees have reported incidents of insensitive comments and others physically recoiling from them due to their race or ethnicity.  Most of these incidents have occurred while they were off campus, provoking feelings of discomfort in “venturing too far away from the familiar environment of the medical center.”  Last week , the world witnessed additional gun violence In Atlanta, Georgia, in which eight people were killed and another injured. Of those killed, seven were women, six of whom were Asian/Asian American. These unconscionable racist attacks targeting women and Asians/Asian Americans are devastating and also sobering. We must not let ourselves become numb to the continued mass shootings and senseless gun violence occurring in the US nor the violence against women that occurs around the world.  This terrible violence reminds us all of the need to stand up for what is right and support women and people of color. We must be united in collectively denouncing racism, sexism and these senseless and cowardly acts of violence. 

Sexism, racism and hate have no place in the Department of Medicine or Washington University School of Medicine. Please join together to stand up, speak out and support our Asian/Asian American colleagues and trainees. The diversity of our racial and cultural backgrounds makes us collectively stronger and more successful as a Department and as a School.  We are committed to diversity, inclusion, equity and antiracism.  Embracing diversity, full inclusion and true equity for everyone will make our medical center and surrounding community better. Each of us has a role to play in creating safe spaces within the Department and the School of Medicine.  

Please join us in actively reaching out and supporting our colleagues. 

Recognizing that racial and gender-based hate crimes may raise strong and mixed emotions and that many people may be experiencing feelings of isolation and helplessness, here are some contacts/resources that may be of help: 

  • Report any racial harassment to any supervisor with whom you are comfortable or talk to a trusted colleague
  • Contact Dr. Joe Pangelinan – DOM Office of Inclusion and Diversity: jpangelinan@wustl.edu
  • Contact Heidi White – Human Resources Consultant:  whiteh@wustl.edu , PH:  314-362-4937
  • Anonymous Compliance Reporting Hot Line — 314-362-4998
  • Work-Life Solutions (EAP—Employee Assistance Program)– 844-365-4587
  • Special Perspectives Group Discussion on Anti-Asian Bias and Violence, sponsored by the WUSM Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • next week (more information forthcoming)

Please let us know if you need anything during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Victoria J. Fraser, MD
Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine                                                                                                                         
Chair, Department of Medicine       

Angela Brown, MD                                                                                             
Professor, Division of Cardiology
Vice Chair for Health Equity, Department of Medicine   

Joe Pangelinan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Office of Inclusion and Diversity, Department of Medicine