The disparities in health care among minority communities have been evident throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Englewood Health officials say they are determined to do something about it.
On Thursday, Englewood Health has announced the formation of its Diversity and Inclusion Education Council, which it said has been created to implement and foster practices that support and accelerate diversity and inclusion.
The council, made up of 12 Englewood Health physicians and team members, will collaborate across departments and work with the health system’s leadership team to provide guidance and direction on programs dedicated to ensuring that Englewood Health is fully living up to its goals of diversity and inclusion.
Englewood Health CEO Warren Geller said there will be a specific focus on addressing health care disparities and diversity in the workplace.
“Our country’s history of racism and current inequalities have impacted every aspect of life and, most importantly, our health and well-being,” he said. “With the establishment of a Diversity and Inclusion Education Council at Englewood Health, we are committing to doing more and doing better for the communities we serve.”
Englewood Health officials said council members have pledged, first and foremost, to address health care disparities among diverse populations in the local community by identifying existing inequalities, developing an action plan, and expanding programs designed to improve access to services and to reduce risk factors for disease.
The council also has committed to identifying, attracting and retaining a diverse workforce across the organization. Its members have pledged to understand, address and help diminish unconscious bias in the workplace and in-patient care, while recognizing diversity and inclusion issues related to a multigenerational workforce, officials said.
“As caregivers, our council will help us closely examine our existing clinical policies and procedures to identify areas of health care disparity or lack of health care access for our most vulnerable communities,” Geller said. “Our council will also work toward improving diversity in the workplace, most significantly in our leadership and management roles.”
As Englewood Health continues to grow and expand its team of professionals, Geller said emphasis will be placed on engaging candidates who will be a “culture add” — and on the importance of perpetual learning to maintain and advance a climate that builds cultural competence and awareness of intergenerational differences.
These initiatives will begin with employee orientation, continue through annual mandatories, and be supplemented by new and ongoing training curriculum, including cross-generational mentoring to improve knowledge transfer.