Our executive team is leading us into a bold new future where inequities and injustices in the healthcare system no longer exist. They are challenging physicians to do the work needed—on an individual, local and national level—to evolve how we care for multi-dimensional communities with very different and unique health needs.
Letter of Support from the Chair
I am pleased and proud to introduce the new Brigham Health Department of Emergency Medicine Office of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Social Justice (IDEaS). The Office of IDEaS will consolidate and advance our Department wide efforts in promoting Diversity, Health Equity and Social Justice that will reach far beyond the doors of the Emergency Department and into our local, national and global community.
As emergency medical providers, our nurses, physicians and support team has taken pride in providing expert emergency care for our entire community of patients. The Brigham Health Emergency Department has always sought to provide the same, excellent level of care to every person that enters our doors, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or economic capacity. We are the safety net for our community and stand as a beacon in our neighborhood, ready to care for anyone at any moment, 24/7/365.
The events of the past year, from COVID to the Black Lives Matter movement, have demonstrated in stark terms the disparities in health access across the medical system. Under-represented minority patients suffer the consequences of a divided society and have less fair access to quality care. URM physicians and leaders have less access to positions of authority in medicine, and young black, Hispanic and indigenous high school and college students have fewer pathways into health professions. We need to do better.
The need for a diverse, equitable and inspired healthcare system is our collective responsibility. We, as leaders in academic emergency medicine, have both the ability and responsibility to affect meaningful change. We must engage our local community, insist on equitable access, build diversity in health professions and promote leaders that represent the culture and values that will better serve our patients and our nation.
The Office of IDEaS is more than a series of projects and programs aimed to improve diversity and equity; it is a commitment of our Brigham Department of Emergency Medicine to sustained, long term efforts to increase diversity, assure equity and build the future of American medicine.
This is our first step in a long journey.
Michael Van Rooyen, MD, MPH
J. Stephan Bohan Professor of Emergency Medicine
Chairman, Brigham Health Department of Emergency Medicine
Executive Team Members
Vice-Chair for Diversity and Inclusion, Office of IDEaS
Chief, Division of Emergency Critical Care Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School