APP DEI Featured News

Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital funds faculty projects focused on advancing equity and inclusion in health care

Every quarter, the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital provides non-research grant support to Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine faculty members for the advancement of the shared mission of both institutions. Recently, the Foundation approved two projects led by team members from the Department of Anesthesiology: The MORE Grant Program and the INCLUDE 2.0 Study.

The MORE Grant Program

This project is a collaborative initiative between Morehouse School of Medicine and WashU Medicine. The program aims to diversify the critical care workforce at Barnes-Jewish Hospital by establishing a pipeline for talented individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Under the leadership of Physician Assistant and Department Equity Champion, Shawn Reynolds, MSPA, PA-C, EMCAQ, the project will provide students with clinical preceptorships at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, allowing them to immerse themselves in real-world health-care settings and gain invaluable hands-on experience. This exposure will enhance students’ clinical skills and foster a deep understanding of the complexities and nuances of critical care medicine.

“This project will not only address systemic barriers but also serve as a catalyst for creating a more inclusive health-care environment,” says Reynolds.

“By providing support for students during their rotations, the project aims to alleviate the burden of out-of-state training and level the playing field for aspiring health-care professionals.”

Shawn Reynolds, MSPA, PA-C, EMCAQ

INCLUDE 2.0 Study

The second initiative, known as the INCLUDE (Improving meNtal healthCare for oLder sUrgical racially minoritizeD patiEnts) 2.0 Study, builds upon the success of its predecessor (INCLUDE 1.0 Study), funded in 2023 by the Foundation. Led by Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Institute for Informatics, Joanna Abraham, PhD, FACMI, FAMIA, along with other researchers, interventionists, and community partners, the study seeks to address the mental health disparities faced by Black senior surgical patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Through patient focus groups, intervention design, and community engagement studios, the project has identified complex challenges faced by this demographic, including clinician biases, mental health stigma, and structural barriers to accessing care. Drawing upon these insights, the team is developing the B-WELL (Black WELLness) perioperative program, a culturally adapted and patient-centered intervention that is aimed at supporting the psychological well-being of patients throughout their surgical journey.

“This study has the potential to drive meaningful change in perioperative mental health-care,” says Abraham.

“By addressing the intersection of race, age, and mental health, the project not only seeks to improve clinical outcomes but also to foster greater diversity, equity, and inclusion within the health care system.”

Joanna Abraham, PhD, FACMI, FAMIA

As these two projects move forward, they signal a bold step toward a future where health care is truly accessible for all. Learn more about grants from the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital at