Richmond's East End: Our Community

The history of any community informs the present and often times its future.  Becoming aware of community history is an important step in engaging more deeply with a community and the individuals who reside and work there.  Further, in relation to health and wellness, historical implications of the quality and availability of health care in a community can impact the health and behaviors of its residents today.

The medical history of Richmond is particularly challenging and represents serious ethical breaches along racial divides. The topic is difficult and yet critical to our understanding as we engage as partners and health and wellness advocates in the East End community. The format of an online module can introduce the subject, however to provide a fuller, more respectful educational approach, the Health Hub will also provide periodic in person workshops to address this important topic in greater depth and breadth.  As we become more educated about the medical history of Richmond, we encourage reflection and discussion within your respective VCU units that relates the impact of medical history on current health disparity, and heath attitudes and behavior. The following are a few resources addressing Richmond's Medical History as it pertains to racial health care disparity.

East Marshall Street Well Map

East Marshall Well Project

In April 1994, human bones and artifacts from the 19th century were discovered in an abandoned well uncovered during construction on Virginia Commonwealth University’s MCV Campus. The well’s contents are believed to have been discarded in the 1800s by medical staff.

These humans, mainly of African descent, were not shown the respect they were due, neither in life nor in death. The university is committed to moving forward in a manner reflecting the dignity that should be accorded these individuals and has created the East Marshall Street Well Project to facilitate a process with the community that ensures the remains receive appropriate study, memorialization and reburial. Learn more about the East Marshall Street Well Project at

What are the strengths and assets of the East End Community?

When working for health and wellness, understanding a community's assets is just as important to understanding  its more challenging social and economic issues.  Partners, and community neighbors share their view of the East Ends assets and strengths

Social Determinants of Health

“When we think of someone who has heart disease, our first instinct may be to assume they are ill because they do not exercise or choose to eat unhealthy foods. However, the behaviors people engage in, the choices they make, and the states of health that they experience do not exist in a vacuum. These all have underlying social causes. Aspects of our social environment that impact people’s well-being are referred to as the social determinants of health, and they include all of the social factors external to an individual that influence their health both directly and indirectly.”

from the Gheli IncubatorLinks to an external site.