DiversityNursing Blog

Healthcare Organizations Commitment To Improving Diversity

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, May 25, 2021 @ 01:50 PM

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The tragic events of the past year has brought an increased awareness to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). As a result, healthcare organizations are hiring Chief Diversity Officers (CDO’s), implementing initiatives, providing educational programs, and using new recruitment strategies to increase diversity in medicine.

Increasing diversity in healthcare organizations benefits both the healthcare provider and the patient populations they serve.

To increase diversity and lower racial healthcare disparities, many hospitals and health systems are looking to their CDO for guidance moving forward.

Last year, CDO hires grew by 84%, making it the fastest growing C-suite title, according to LinkedIn.

Some health systems are going beyond hiring a CDO and are creating entire teams or councils to implement and foster best practices. 

Northwell Health formed the Emerging Leaders Diversity & Inclusion Council which is responsible for analyzing current conditions within the health system while seeking to implement best practices in 3 key areas:

• Onboarding
• Mentoring
• Succession Planning

Englewood Health assembled a Diversity and Inclusion Education Council consisting of 12 team members across all departments and leadership levels.  

Warren Geller, President and CEO of Englewood Health said, “Our country’s history of racism and current inequalities have impacted every aspect of life and, most importantly, our health and well-being. With the establishment of a Diversity and Inclusion Education Council we are committing to doing more and doing better for the communities we serve.”

More hospitals are providing educational resources and training programs for their staff members.

At Ochsner Health in Louisiana, they’ve rolled out training to address implicit bias across the organization. Melissa Love, VP of Professional Staff Services and The Office of Professional Well-Being said, “People are really curious. I’m seeing people be very surprised by their lack of knowledge, even those that think they’re very knowledgeable.” 

Hospitals are also participating in evaluation programs to help improve their DEI efforts. 

The HRC Foundation's Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) evaluates healthcare facilities nationwide based on non-discrimination & staff training, LGBTQ patient services & support, employee benefits & policies, and LGBTQ patient & community engagement. 

Last year, a record 765 healthcare facilities participated in the HEI survey. These organizations recognize the importance of implementing LGBTQ-inclusive practices alongside their foundational non-discrimination policies.

When it comes to diversifying the hiring process, Daniel Benavides, Manager of Talent Acquisition at CHG Healthcare, suggests hospitals increase the number of people who select candidates. 

Benavides noticed only one or two people were filtering candidates for interviews. He determined that having a larger mix of individuals looking at applications would result in a greater diversity — and higher quality — of selected candidates.

It’s critical healthcare organizations improve diversity within their staff to reduce healthcare disparities. They must ensure ALL people are equally represented. 

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, chief diversity officer, hospital diversity, diversity recruitment, healthcare organizations, workplace diversity, hiring diverse workforce, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, DEI

The Growing Role of Chief Diversity Officer

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Feb 16, 2021 @ 12:34 PM

CDOLast year, Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) hires grew by 84%, making it the fastest growing C-suite title, according to LinkedIn.

There has been a national wave of concern about racial inequities, especially in healthcare, with the arrival of the COVID pandemic.

Many healthcare organizations are increasing their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. Leaders are addressing racial health disparities and finding ways to improve patient care for all. Part of their efforts include establishing a Chief Diversity Officer role.

Winifred King is Cook Children’s first ever Chief Diversity Officer. King said, “It is hard to put into words what this decision and investment means to people of color and anyone who has ever felt different or excluded. For all of us who may have experienced inequities and mistreatment in our lifetimes, it is comforting to be a part of an organization that accepts our differences, our failures, and is willing to look inward and truly examine what is at the heart of our culture.”

“COVID-19 is amplifying health disparities in communities of color,” said Quita Highsmith, the Chief Diversity Officer of biotech company, Genentech. “It is now time for us to stop tiptoeing around it and start thinking about what we are going to do.”

CDOs are responsible for addressing these healthcare disparities. They are developing strategies to promote diversity, inclusivity, and equitable cultures throughout their organization.

Education and awareness are playing a key role in improving health outcomes for diverse communities. The CDO coordinates efforts internally to provide staff with resources and courses, such as cultural competence training as well as finding ways externally to work with the community they serve.

In addition, the CDO helps to create recruitment programs that ensures their DEI message is reaching diverse candidates. As a member of the C-suite, the CDO can communicate to all leaders that diversity recruitment, for all position levels, should be a priority.

Studies suggest diversity in healthcare leadership enhances quality of care, quality of life in the workplace, community relations, and the ability to affect community health status.

The CDO helps to define, educate, and communicate the hospital/health system’s culture and DEI message to its staff, patient population and community.

Joseph Hill, was the first Chief Diversity Officer at Jefferson Health. He requested they establish focus groups with patients to better understand their expectations and view of the system. With the information provided by the focus groups, they found the areas that needed improvements.

HCA Healthcare created the BRAVE Conversations program, an ‘outside the box’ platform designed to facilitate interactive, inclusive, innovative and safe ways for employees to share their thoughts on issues that may be difficult to discuss.

It is imperative that leadership is committed to their DEI mission. Without it, the CDO cannot wave a magic wand and transform an entire organization overnight. It takes commitment, communication both internally and externally, resources, time, and effort from all areas of the health system.

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, CDO, chief diversity officer, hospital diversity, diversity in healthcare, health disparities, diversity recruitment, racial health disparities

Recruiting a More Diverse Workforce: It’s About Telling a Story and Backing It Up with Actions

Posted by Pat Magrath

Thu, Jan 28, 2021 @ 02:39 PM

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Pat Magrath, National Sales Director, DiversityNursing.com pmagrath@diversitynursing.com

Our country and the world is experiencing a huge awakening and changing attitude toward bias and racism and it is about time! It shouldn’t have taken these recent tragic events to bring about this ground swell of emotion and passion for change, but here we are.

It is time to channel this passion to create positive and lasting new initiatives in our society. A big part of this change falls to employers to review what they say about their organization, how they hire new employees, and how they treat and communicate with their existing staff, patients and visitors. Now, more than ever, your recruitment communications need to reflect an honest and thoughtful narrative about your organizational commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

Diversity Recruitment means reaching out to ALL diverse communities including people from various racial/ethnic backgrounds, ages, gender identities, religions, education levels, national origins, sexual orientations, veteran status, marital status, disabilities, and physical characteristics. However, it is much more than just words on paper or a clever equal opportunity line. It is about telling a story and demonstrating through your actions why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are important.

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Diversity Recruiting Steps & Strategy

Get Started

Diversity Recruiting is about your core company beliefs, employment strategies and your ability to look at the big picture when it comes to expanding the diversity within your employee population. Look at the patients your organization serves. What is the population makeup of your community? Do your employees reflect your patient population? Do they understand how culture and family structures can impact healthcare decisions? Do they understand nuances in language? Have they been taught how different religious backgrounds impact how and when people seek care? If not, you are probably losing market share or certainly will in the near future.

Patients want and often need to be taken care of by someone who can look at much more than just physical or emotional symptoms. A more diverse employee population leads to the collaboration of different cultures, ideas, and perspectives and is an organizational asset that brings forth greater creativity and innovation in your workplace.

Define Your Company Culture

valuesWe often hear the term “recruitment brand”, but can you honestly say you have one that reflects Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? Your “recruitment brand” is NOT what you aspire to be. It is who you are NOW and a big part of that is how others experience or perceive your organization.

Can you articulate and explain your company culture, beliefs and perception in the community? Do you have a clear, inclusive mission statement? If not, start working on it now. Who are you as an employer? Would a diverse candidate feel comfortable working there?

Put together a team of internal people from various backgrounds to get their input and help you define and promote your company culture. Once you’ve defined it, believe it, commit to it and act upon it. It should be a comprehensive effort from the top down.

Embrace It

What do the leaders of your organization say and do about your DEI initiative? It is imperative your senior leadership is committed to your DEI mission. If they don’t stand behind it, nothing will change. People pay attention to what you say AND what you do. There are many ways to monitor how an organization delivers on its promises. If your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts don’t match up with what you say, then you have lost credibility and it will be very difficult to build it back.

Get Your Message Out There – How and Where You Reach People

megaphoneAssess what you’re currently doing. What’s working and what isn’t? Where can you improve? What’s your budget? What are your competitors doing? Once you’ve answered these questions, you must develop a strategy about how and where you’re going to consistently communicate your message through ALL of your internal and external channels including…

  • Your Website – particularly your Career Pages
  • Community Involvement – get out into your community and spread your DEI message. Your community comprises your patients, visitors and employees.
  • Signage throughout your buildings
  • All Recruitment Communications should outline your DEI message including:
- Career Pages
- Electronic Communications including radio, TV, social media, etc
- Print Communications
- Employee Referral Programs
- Collateral & Conference materials – brochures, giveaways, etc
- Business Cards
- Job Postings

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Climbing the Career Ladder & Diversity

In addition to recruiting diverse employees, mentoring and promoting them is equally important to your DEI commitment. You not only retain committed employees as you promote them, but your staff sees what you’re doing and is encouraged.

Dr. Stefanie Johnson is a professor at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder, an expert in the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) space, and the author of the recent Wall Street Journal bestseller, Inclusify. As an executive coach and consultant to large corporations on the development and succession of leaders, Dr. Johnson explains the "employee lifecycle" from recruiting to executive advancement. This lifecycle starts with the hiring of talent at companies, continues onto the engagement and development of them through teams, and then moves to the potential promotion of diverse employees into higher leadership roles. https://www.forbes.com/sites/niharchhaya/2020/06/29/why-diversity-and-inclusion-efforts-fail-to-deliver-and-how-to-change-that/#636ed82457be

Following these steps will help you achieve an appropriate Diversity Recruiting strategy. Remember, it is imperative that your senior leadership is on board and committed. Your employees, patients and community will be watching.

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Topics: diversity in nursing, recruitment, recruiting, Diversity and Inclusion, diversity in healthcare, diversity recruitment, nurse recruitment, workplace diversity, diversity nursing, hiring diverse candidates, hiring diverse workforce

How Health Systems Are Improving Their Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Apr 27, 2018 @ 10:52 AM

diversity-inclusion-respect-767x362@2xMajor health care giants like Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital have pledged to improve diversity recruitment of health workers. Reports showed a lack of diversity in hospitals and care discrepancies among patients. The hospitals plan to increase resources, hire executives focused on improving diversity and inclusion in their organizations, and more.

The lack of diversity in the healthcare workforce can impact patient care. Minority patients are more likely to seek out and follow advice from health professionals who look, sound, eat, worship and share the same cultural customs and values like they do. 

The U.S. population overall is changing and quite rapidly. In 2010, the number of residents age 5 and older speaking a language other than English at home had climbed 158% to 59.5 million from 23.1 million in 1980, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2044, more than half the nation is expected to be made up of minority races or groups, according to a 2015 Census Bureau report.

Yet, statistics show healthcare isn't keeping pace with population changes. Minorities made up just 14% of hospital boards and only 11% of executive leadership positions in 2015, according to a survey from the American Hospital Association's Institute for Diversity in Health Management. This disparity exists even though minorities represent roughly 30% to 35% of patients in hospitals.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute officials told Becker's Hospital Review they plan to hire a leader for diversity programs, and will require all faculty and administration to complete a bias awareness workshop, among other initiatives, as part of the institution's 2018 strategic plan.

Dianne Austin, workforce diversity program manager at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Healthcare Dive, "Mass General has an orientation where new employees attend a program on diversity and inclusion and learn about various resources available to employees, such as a citizenship program, careers days and school admissions officers. There are also multiple staff committees focused on improving diversity and inclusion."

Akron Children's Hospital supports a program that aims to improve Nursing diversity. The program's plan is to increase the number of interns in the program and provide tuition support during their senior year of college. The hope is that program participants will return to Akron Children's after graduation to begin their Nursing career.

 "Nursing diversity is vital to ensuring a positive experience for our patients," said William Considine, CEO of Akron Children's Hospital. "Not only does this program provide a valuable educational experience, it also helps Akron Children's recruit more prepared Nurses and helps our workforce reflect the diversity of the patients, families and communities we serve."

UC Health intends to contribute $1.5 million to create University of Cincinnati scholarships designed to diversify the medical profession. The hospital system hopes the scholarships will help all local health systems diversify their workforce when hiring doctors, Nurses, pharmacists and medical technicians. 

“We know through recent research that underrepresented adults in Cincinnati believe their race negatively impacts their treatment from medical professionals,” said Dr. Rick Lofgren, CEO of UC Health. “This investment is a step to improve health care for all of our patients and to foster a health care workforce that reflects the diversity of our population.”

Diversity & Inclusion initiatives can be difficult to sustain, but commitment to increasing D&I at all levels of your organization will bring new perspectives and values to your hospital/health system, which can help decrease health disparities across the board. Bravo to the healthcare leaders that are seriously acting on their D&I initiatives! Do you see progress in this area where you work or teach?

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, chief diversity officer, hospital diversity, diverse workforce, diversity recruitment

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