ed healton
Category: Gut Health, Health Magazine

Title:Health and Inclusion

Author: Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Date Published: November 3, 2020

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Georgetown Health magazine, exploring ideas from Georgetown University Medical Center’s laboratories, patient care settings, and campus virtual classrooms.

Today we define “campus” in a broad new way.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has invited us to blur the boundaries of the classroom, as students learn remotely, sometimes asynchronously, but still in community. Alumni know that the delivery of patient care, too, has changed dramatically, with telehealth practiced in ways we’d never imagined just a year ago. Now more than ever we are learning and practicing across divisions and specialties, across oceans and time zones, as patient care teams.

In a similar spirit, we launch this twice-annual magazine. Over the years Georgetown created separate publications for nursing, dental, biomedical graduate, and medical alumni. With a unified approach, the stories that follow represent our inclusive mission, naming health as our priority.

This year the Georgetown community suffers as the nation reels with the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and countless more at the hands of police. COVID-19’s disparate impact on our communities of color also serves as a reminder of the seemingly intractable challenges of health inequities. For some of us, 2020’s awakening to the brutal injustice of racist structures and behaviors is harsh and new. For many of us, the experience is personally known and at times insurmountable. The sickness of racism hurts us all. It is a health issue, at its core. All of us in the Georgetown family are called to respond, to not only shine a light on racism, but to help root it out, particularly in our space as a Medical Center.

Racism impacts the experience of health for many Americans. We stand in solidarity as health professionals with the vulnerable and the oppressed, and we commit to change. Read on the following pages about the student-driven response at Georgetown University Medical Center and the establishment of the Racial Justice Committee for Change. We will continue to update our community on this work.

In this edition of Georgetown Health, we look at new understandings around the gut. Find stories on research, education, service, patient care, and alumni in the field. With a more inclusive name and audience, we continue as a Catholic and Jesuit institution not only to read the signs of the times, but also to lead them. We lean into our call to practice racial justice in every aspect of our world, with a particular focus on health—for individuals and for the community. With tremendous work ahead, I can’t imagine a better place and time to begin than here and now with each of you.

My gut tells me we are on a good path.

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Services
Executive Dean, School of Medicine

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