Beginning in 2019, WUPT’s new student orientation began to advance the ideas of health equity and health disparities by taking an in-depth look at the St. Louis area. The goal was to help visually connect the detrimental and long-lasting effects of systemic and structural racism on social and structural determinants of health. By increasing awareness of the vast inequities within St. Louis and discussing how they influence health, future physical therapists can better understand their role in connecting with the entire community.
An Associate Professor in the Washington University School of Architecture, Bob Hansman developed a course—Community Building, Building Community—that brings Washington University students together with residents of Hamilton Heights, Clinton-Peabody, Kinloch, the Ville, and other St. Louis neighborhoods to discover opportunities for shared personal and community involvement.
In 1994, Bob founded City Faces, a year-round art and mentorship program for kids living in the Clinton-Peabody public housing downtown. In 1996 he moved his studio into the projects, and in 2002 he adopted one of his first students, Jovan, who now directs the day-to-day operations of City Faces.
Bob has been a leader, a learner, a teacher, a partner, and an advocate for these and other communities in St. Louis for over 25 years. Bob has received numerous accolades for his profound commitment and impact on civic and community engagement in the St. Louis community
Dr. Will R. Ross is associate dean for diversity and principal officer for community partnerships at Washington University School of Medicine, where he is a professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology. Over the past two decades, he has recruited and developed a diverse workforce of medical students, residents and faculty while promoting health equity locally, nationally and globally through collaborations with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and public health officials in Ethiopia, Haiti, and South Africa. He is vice chair of the Washington University Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. He has been instrumental in redesigning local access to health care for the underserved. Dr. Ross presents to WUPT students on Health Disparities in St. Louis and the Delmar Divide.