Memorial Healthcare System’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion aims to make healthcare equitable.
By Maggie Mancini
When Memorial Health System established its physician diversity, equity, and inclusion council, the group of 25 physicians provided critical insights around adopting strategic HR initiatives and supporting a culture of belonging among stakeholders and patients. Over the course of 2024 and onward, the council will focus on system-wide cultural awareness education for employed physicians, including efforts to establish DEI principles, diversify and educate medical staff, make healthcare equitable for the community, and enable Memorial to provide care for the best possible outcomes.
Memorial evaluates key community priorities through a “Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)” report. The “CHNA” is administered every three years, engaging residents, community leaders, and non-profits in focus groups and council meetings to address disparities.
Recent findings of the “CHNA” have led to initiatives that include policies that support a commitment to a safe environment for people regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as a focus on the social determinants of health.
Additional strategies and initiatives that have deepened Memorial Healthcare System’s commitment to DEI include the following:
- a course on cultural diversity for new hires;
- sessions on unconscious bias for senior leaders;
- lunch-and-learn sessions with community organizations;
- periodic salary studies;
- employee feedback for benefits offerings;
- engagement and team-building opportunities;
- an updated dress code policy; and
- a gender transition policy for employees with guidelines to support their transition in the workplace.
Memorial Healthcare System won the HRO Today Association’s North America Award for DEI Excellence, Practitioner.