Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

At UVA Neurosurgery we are committed to leadership in diversity, inclusion and respect. We believe that fostering a culture that promotes open expression, justice, fairness and equity is essential to enhance the quality of our education, research and patient care. We uphold these values to create a respectful and tolerant environment that celebrates our differences, allows for  the exchange and discussion of ideas and cultivates stronger relationships among our faculty, staff, residents and students.

Department 2023As a Department, we put the patient at the center of everything we do and we uphold the core ASPIRE values of the UVA Health System:

  • Accountability:Acknowledging and assuming responsibility for where we have succeeded and failed in terms of our actions, decisions, policies, and results.
  • Stewardship: Managing our resources and commitment to continual improvement and learning responsibly and carefully while acknowledging shortcomings or problems in our quest.
  • Professionalism: Approaching all that we do in a collaborative way and delivering excellent care through the lens of helpfulness, positivity, kindness, and competency.
  • Integrity: Being honest, open, and fair through our behaviors, attitude, and treatment of others.
  • Respect: Valuing everyone through our compassionate and caring ways.
  • Equity: Fostering an environment of belonging that promotes justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and unity throughout the organization and within the communities we serve.

The Vision of our department includes:

We will strive to encourage an inclusive and tolerant environment that enhances equity, justice and diversity. Our goal is to incorporate these values to promote positive systemic changes through initiatives and programs that will improve the care of our patients and educate tomorrow’s neurosurgical leaders.

The Mission of our department includes:

Our goal is to provide compassionate high quality medical care to improve the quality of life for the people in our community. Through respect for the intrinsic differences among our staff, trainees and patients we will cultivate an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion that will guide our department in delivering excellent patient care in a professional setting, train future neurosurgical leaders and conduct ground-breaking research.

Department Strategies and Achievements include:

  • Promote the recruitment of faculty, residents and fellows of diverse backgrounds, gender, ethnicity and experiences
  • To build and maintain a culture of diversity and inclusion
  • To recognize and address inequity at all levels of patient care and physician training
  • Increase DEI knowledge amongst staff, students and residents
  • Establish mentorship and scholarship programs for underrepresented minorities
  • Increase diversity amongst the faculty for online and in-person educational events
  • We collaborate with the Center for Excellence in Youth Education and other national organizations to foster and mentor a pipeline of URiM (populations that are Underrepresented in Medicine) high school students and introduce them to medicine and neurosurgery.
  • We invest significantly in a visiting electives program for URiM students. These initiatives have enabled the department to expand the number of URiM trainees. Once URiM medical students join our residency program, we provide robust and thoughtful mentorship and professional networking to support them throughout their training.
  • We are partnering with Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia to create an anatomy / research rotation for Colombian Neurosurgery residents
  • We are committed to training our current faculty, residents, and staff to foster an open and welcoming environment.
  • We work with the nonprofit organization People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond to bring the continuing medical education-accredited Undoing Racism Workshop to our hospital campuses.
  • We encourage our department members to participate in on-line unconscious bias training sessions to further each member’s understanding of their own hidden prejudices.
  • We constantly work to improve our communications and ensure that we remain a culturally sensitive and patient-centric department.
  • While 2021 national figures showed that 12% of neurosurgeons are female, our residency program is 33% female.
  • Our resident Katie Kearns gave a talk at our national meeting: “Composition and Gender Distribution of Editorial Boards for Top Neurosurgical Journals”.
  • Our resident Cleresa Roberts is leading a project, with support of UVA Pipeline and our GME office:  “Bridging the Gap:  Attracting, motivating, and retaining talented Black and Brown students to the field of Neurosurgery.”
  • Cleresa is now working with Starr Hill program through UVA to bring underrepresented minorities and underprivileged children in the seventh and eighth grade to come and participate in a pathways to Neurosurgery program.

JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Program

The JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Program is part of the UVA School of Medicine’s efforts to encourage work in diversity and inclusion across all departments at the school. Each department has appointed a DEI leader to aid in recruiting and retaining highly qualified diverse students, trainees, faculty and staff; ensure mentorship is available at all levels, and help allocate financial and personnel resources to sustain diversity and inclusion initiatives. These new department leaders are called JEDIS: Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategists.

Dr. Juan Sardi is currently serving as the first-ever JEDI Strategist in the Neurosurgery.  If you have any questions or suggestions please contact Dr. Sardi at js9yu@uvahealth.org.

Our Partners in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

UVA Health – Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Community Engagement | UVA Health

UVA School of Medicine – Home – Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (virginia.edu)

UVA Graduate Medical Education – Diversity & Inclusion – Graduate Medical Education (virginia.edu)

UVA – Home Page | Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (virginia.edu)

Congress of Neurological Surgeons – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee – cns.org