from The President

Richard V. Homan, MD
Richard V. Homan, MD

In January, when we began planning this issue of EVMS Magazine, the term COVID-19 had yet to be coined. By the time the stories were drafted and being designed in March, the world was deep in the throes of the pandemic.

As a result, we did not print and mail this magazine, lest traces of the coronavirus linger on its pages. Instead, we are delivering it to you via this PDF, as well as our usual digital version with bonus content.

Not only that, but much of what we showcased in this edition has changed dramatically. Street Health, a community-engaged learning program featured in our cover story, had to be paused. Our annual Match Day celebration, when graduating MD students learn of their residency matches, was turned into a drive-thru event. An article about our thriving Summer Scholars program was pulled and held for next year because this year’s program was suspended.

Perhaps most daunting was transforming our traditional commencement ceremony into a joyful online event, one that proclaimed the celebratory spirit of our graduates’ remarkable achievements. While disappointed to be physically apart from each other on such a momentous occasion, we could not be more proud of our graduates and what they have accomplished.

Some of them will, no doubt, go on to groundbreaking pursuits — like the one that enabled Phillip Connell to forge a lifelong connection with the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, as you will learn in this issue.

What else have we learned in this strange new world? That our faculty and staff are adaptable and resilient. That our experts are vital to keeping the public informed. That our students and residents each have a heart to help whenever and wherever they can. And that the community we serve remains steadfast in its support of healthcare workers, from making masks and donating PPE to delivering meals and abiding by stay-at-home guidance.

The world is different, to be sure. But EVMS is still here, still strong, and still with you, striving to create a healthier future for us all. Thank you for standing with us.

Read a special message from Dr. Homan regarding the senseless death of George Floyd

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