An update on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts at Swedish
For far too long, a variety of systemic barriers have prevented people of color and members of marginalized communities from experiencing equitable health outcomes. We’re committed to breaking down those barriers, and to providing an inclusive workplace for all caregivers (employees), which is why in 2021 Swedish established the Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OHEDI).
Leading the charge
Swedish hired two outstanding leaders to drive the organization toward our health equity goals. This includes Nwando Anyaoku, M.D., MPH, MBA, as the inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer. Dr. Anyaoku directs our programs to measure equity in care delivery and outcomes, improve access for patients from all backgrounds and promote culturally competent care.
Mardia Shands, M.A., SPHR, SHRMSCP, serves as the organization’s inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. Shands develops and directs programs that increase workforce diversity, improve equity in hiring and employment practices, and ensure an inclusive workplace for all Swedish caregivers and providers.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion accomplishments in 2021
Last year, the Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion accomplished the following:
- Established a full team with different programmatic areas (LGBTQI+, Health Equity, Workforce Development, Linguistic Services, Patient/Caregiver Complaints).
- The LGBTQI+ Program led the application process for all five of Swedish’s hospital campuses for the Human Rights Foundation’s Healthcare Equity Index. The Index is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies/practices dedicated to equitable treatment and inclusion on LGBTQI+ patients, visitors, and employees. Swedish’s hospitals joined 496 other hospitals across the country in achieving the highest recognition as an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader.”
- Received funding and approval to launch/expand a new Pregnancy and Birth Outcome Network dedicated to our BIPOC patient populations.
- Established a Cultural Navigation Program which was originally housed in Case Management; now the program is housed within OHEDI with three cultural navigators.
- Established a program to support and expand workforce development and diversity with Meharry Medical College, which includes a six-week sponsored rotation at Swedish for two third-year medical students.
- Acquired Linguistic Services.
- Established a relationship with Human Resources and Compliance to more efficiently resolve patients’ and caregivers’ complaints.
- Developed Implicit Bias Trainings for emergency room caregivers to improve how the emergency severity index is used with BIPOC patients versus their white counterparts.
Goals for 2022
This year, we’re heavily focused on population health research surrounding Hypertension Control in African American patients, analyzing our data capture metrics for areas of improvement, and identifying community partners and evidence-based interventions to address health disparities. We intend to initiate two new related interventions by the end of the year.
Swedish fosters an inclusive workplace
We continue learning and striving toward an inclusive workplace for every caregiver. We don’t tolerate behavior that perpetuates bias or stereotypes. Ours is a workplace where caregivers of differing backgrounds and perspectives can experience a community of mutual respect and collegiality, knowing that diversity is valued.
If our goals and values align with yours, view all open roles.