Two nursing students sitting on the steps, forming a heart shape with their hands.

All are welcome here. We really mean it.

The need for a diverse nursing workforce has never been greater.

Not just because patients want caregivers who look like them and speak their language - though that's part it it - but because we understand that you can't reduce health inequities, improve care and patients' health outcomes without a widened view of the world derived through engagement across difference, understanding and humility.

IDEA Team - Our Commitment

Melissa Gomes, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity is more than difference. Diversity offers a perspective that allows counter thought to transcend boundaries. Without diverse inclusion, it is difficult to see the kaleidoscope the world offers. What a boring world we would live in, if not for varied experiences. Let us not get caught up in our own limited point of view, because, without the desire to understand another's plight, we will never move beyond our own understanding, and we will miss out on the cataclysmic beauty that can generate when differing worlds collide. 

It is my mission to provide the spark that generates such synergy. And, there is no better place to do this than in an institution of higher learning. This is where change makers are born and resulting equity can illuminate the impact of diversification. 

Ivora 'Ivy' Hinton, PhD

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As a statistician, I both appreciate and am committed to the idea that there are more similarities among us than differences. We all want the opportunity to be successful. We all need to feel connected. And we all need respect for our sense of autonomy.

But I have the highest regard for differences that exist among us, too. I have studied and learned as much as possible about as many people as possible, and cherish every lesson. By appreciating differences, I have provided support that is often unique to each individual.

In my work at the School of Nursing, I  support and enhance the diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment needed for all our faculty, staff, and students. For me, diversity means appreciating what goes into making someone who they are. Equity means providing, to the best of our ability, people with resources they need to succeed. Inclusion means shaping a learning and work environment where everyone feels welcomed, acknowledged, and respected.

Our healthcare systems bring together a huge cross-section of humanity, and we must have a diverse workforce to provide the most appropriate care for each one of them. Our nursing school truly has the best students, science and scholarship, but to truly be the best, we must constantly strive for more. I am committed to using what I know to help make us more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. I can attest that our School is a learning community rooted in compassion and respect, that we pursue excellence in nursing practice, teaching, and life-long learning, and that we stand firmly for equity, inclusion, and diversity, advance science and develop evidence-based solutions that improve health, health equity, and health care. I can attest that we are great even as we strive for our better good.

Hannah Crosby

Assistant Director

I believe we all have a piece of the puzzle and when we put it all together with dignity and respect, the beauty of community shines through. I understand that what you bring to the table is value-added and your voice and perspective matters! Therefore, I am continually guided by a quote attributed to Mother Teresa: “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

It is my utmost desire to be a part of the growth process and I get to do that every day, here at UVA School of Nursing.

Diane Washington

Executive Assistant for School Initiatives and Support

Diane Washington joined the School of Nursing in 2011 as the Executive Assistant to the Dean. Diane brings 25 years of executive administrative leadership experience to the School, having been executive assistant to both the CFO and CEO of Southern Health, Administrative Office Manager to the UVA Medical Center Finance Department, and Administrative Assistant to the Chairman of UVA Radiology & Medical Imaging.

In 2024, Diane assumed the role of Executive Assistant for School Initiatives and Support, where she leads the School’s initiatives in the form of specialized event planning and coordination – including lectureships, serves as an active and participating member of the School’s Rewards and Recognition Committee, provides high level administrative management for the School of Nursing’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Compassionate Care Initiative, as well as Academic Operations, and the Diversity Committee.

A member of several professional organizations, such as UVA’s  Exceptional Assistant Network (EAN), State of the Executive Assistant, and Office Dynamics International,  Diane is a recipient of the School of Nursing Accomplished Service Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions as well as the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Innovation.

Ms. Washington is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she earned a BA in Sociology.  She holds three certificates of completion from the UVA School of Medicine’s Mini-Med School. Recently in March 2024, Diane completed Introduction to Wisdom & Wellbeing Peer Support Training as well as Introduction to Wisdom & Wellbeing Peer Support Training in Discrimination & Bias.  She is expected to complete the last two tiers over the summer.  Ms. Washington will also be a part of the Fall 2024 cohort in the School of Continuing & Professional Studies – Higher Education Program for Executive Level Assistants (HEPELA).

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