Letter to the VTCSOM Community on the violence in Charlottesville

Dear VTCSOM community,

Over the last few days, you may have seen the statements from our two partner institutions reflecting the violence that occurred in Charlottesville over the weekend. Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and Virginia Tech Board of Visitors Rector Dennis Treacy released a joint statement and Carilion Clinic President and CEO Nancy Agee released a statement through the American Hospital Association, where she serves as chair elect.

We echo similar sentiments and wanted to reach out directly to the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine community. It is easier to believe that white supremacists and neo-fascists are “not in our backyard,” but the weekend’s violence and hate-filled rhetoric was a reminder that it can happen anywhere. Charlottesville is a special place in our community as it was home for many of our students, faculty, and staff as children, students, or professionals and, for others, it is the home to our friends, family, and colleagues. We are aware that hatred is around us, but we strive to shine a light on this event in hopes of unifying our communities.

Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic have both provided some resources for our students, faculty, and staff who are hurting, but we also hope you will use the school’s resources to find healing. We are here for you if you are feeling frightened, angry, confused, or just want to talk.

In medicine, we are trained to not only take care of patients, but also to care for them – no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, beliefs, or any other background. We will continue to take a stand for inclusion and diversity here at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

Cynda Ann Johnson, Founding Dean
Dan Harrington, Vice Dean
Karen Eley Sanders, Chief Diversity Officer
Aubrey Knight, Senior Dean for Student Affairs
David Trinkle, Associate Dean for Community and Culture