Since January, NMC has been working with consultants from The Creative Discourse Group (TCDG) on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging – both as an employer and a healthcare-providing organization.
As part of the work, NMC recently adopted a statement of commitment which was crafted through an inclusive and collaborative process based on input and feedback from staff.
“Just like the work we’ve done toward becoming a High-Reliability organization, we know that becoming an equitable employer and healthcare provider is a journey,” said Chief People Officer Ryan Hamel. “We are excited to have taken this step on that path – making a visible commitment to the work.”
Here is the statement:
At Northwestern Medical Center we are committed to providing equitable care for our community to fulfill our mission of exceptional care.
We do this by being inclusive, valuing our differences, and intentionally focusing on and enhancing safety, quality, empathy, and respect, as an employer and as a healthcare organization.
We are continuously learning, reflecting on, and addressing the root causes of inequities because we value our diversity and the strength that it provides our organization.
We are committed to cultivating an environment where our patients, community, and team members ALL feel exceptionally cared for, welcome, seen, heard, and celebrated.
In addition, NMC is nearing completion on a year-long work plan with TCDG that included an assessment phase, development of a core team to take on the work, a four-part training for leaders and a two-part training for all staff.
Along with the work facilitated by TCDG, other health equity work is underway at NMC. Here are just a few examples:
- The Family Birth Center is revamping the artwork on the unit to feature local families and families of diverse makeups.
- A quality project is underway at NMC to build solid systems for collecting race, ethnicity, and preferred language data, as well as sexual orientation and gender identity.
- NMC continues to learn about and celebrate diverse cultures during holidays and recognition weeks.
- NMC hosted a staff training with the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi Interim Chief Joanne Crawford.
- NMC began offering an addition to employee badges to allow staff to identify their pronouns or languages that they speak.
- The hospital is seeking to improve the translation and interpretation services offered, and improving wayfinding with the translation of maps and, in the future, signage.
- NMC joined the national Perinatal Improvement Collaborative to improve maternal health with a component of the collaborative relating to eliminating inequities in care and outcomes based on race, socio-economic status and other factors.
NMC is publishing the commitment statement on a dedicated page on our website, which will include blog posts to provide regular updates to the community about our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging journey.