Diversity Champions program
Among Community's numerous innovative initiatives for supporting diversity is the network's Diversity Champions program, created to identify, train and encourage additional diversity representatives at each of the numerous Community locations. The program kicked off in 2007, with approximately 65 "champions" identified at the outset. Together, the champions focus on awareness, interaction and acceptance of all—and ensure that all employees are aware of how much Community values the differences that its people bring to the network as well as the influence that they have on the organization and employee relationships with patients and families.
Read more below about the Diversity Champtions program kick-off.
Network selects diversity champions
The opening ceremony of Community Health Network’s new Diversity Champions program took place October 10, 2007 on the North campus. Seventy-five employees, managers and directors from across the network were selected to become champions for diversity.
“This is an exciting moment for us,” says Jill Parris, network vice president for human resources. “We have moved so far on the network diversity front and we want to get to the next level. We can’t do that without people like you who will help us take the messages forward, take the programs forward, listen to people and bring their ideas and concepts back to us.”
During the session, the newly selected Diversity Champions heard from a variety of speakers. They included Dan Hodgkins, vice president for health promotion and community benefit; Nicole Nicoloff, director of the exceptional patient and family experience; Bill Corley, CEO (now CEO Emeritus); and Beth Leavell, nursing quality resource coordinator for Community Hospital Anderson.
Bill Corley speaks at the Diversity Champions opening ceremony
“Diversity develops a stronger, more complete organization,” Corley says. “We’ve really tried to make sure the strategic directions of the organization and the whole subject of diversity are linked. When we talk about an exceptional experience for patients and families, we know that has to be a different experience for everyone.
“I want to thank all of you for your efforts in this realm,” Corley says. “We need many, many more champions who absolutely understand that strength comes from diversity.”
Deborah Whitfield (shown right), director of network diversity, explained that she would be meeting with the groups from each location and explaining the champions’ roles more thoroughly as soon as the network diversity council meets to identify its 2008 initiatives.
“We have made so much progress in the last 10 months under Deb Whitfield’s leadership,” says Lainey Docque, director of organization development. “She is the one to thank for bringing this together today.”
Each Diversity Champion was presented with a pin and asked to facilitate conversations with Community’s patients and families and employees.
“Each one of us is helping patients either directly or indirectly,” says Docque. “We come from all different walks of life. The value each one of you brings to our organization is critical because you help us see things from your point of view. You’re here to heighten our sensitivity.”