Every year, the American College of Healthcare Executives funds several innovative projects from its chapters. This year ACHE awarded a grant to its local chapter, Utah Healthcare Executives, to improve diversity in healthcare leadership with its Diversity in Leadership (DIL) program.
DIL aims to (1) identify talented early careerists from minority backgrounds, (2) mentor and place them in positions to lead, and (3) promote diversity awareness to healthcare leadership. With this program we are hopeful this will sow seeds of diversity that organizations and patients can benefit from.
The “Why” Behind Utah Healthcare Executives’ Diversity in Leadership Program
Despite a growing minority population and more female college graduates than men, boards and c-suites hardly reflect this. Diversity fuels better decision making and innovation, improves employee retention, and better serves patients among many other benefits. Adding more women and minority leaders and staff will help organizations adapt to a dynamic industry and the growing pressures to provide better, more efficient care to the entire population.
Who Is Involved in Diversity in Leadership
Called Diversity & Inclusion Fellows, Jared Ripplinger, Gabriela Garcia, Ariel Malan, and Shota Aivazishvili are graduate students and early careerists. They bring passion and purpose to their work because they come from Hispanic, LGBT, and immigrant communities and understand firsthand the value of diversity. In addition to the fellows, DIL is overseen by Amanda Forman, Casey Trujillo, and Brian Black.
What We Plan to Accomplish
Each fellow is assigned a mentor to help them grow in their careers. The fellows plan, promote, secure presenters, and facilitate two diversity-related UHE events. They will also contribute to UHE committees and extend their professional networks.
The fellows are all placed in a position to lead: Ariel directed the diversity breakfast in June; Gaby will oversee the panel discussion and luncheon in August; Jared will moderate the panel discussion; and Shota facilitates our monthly team meetings. During the monthly meetings, experiences and ideas are shared on the challenges minorities face in the workplace. At the end of DIL, the fellows will report their experience back to the UHE Board of Directors. We are optimistic as they have grown in the process and know they will continue to influence healthcare as their careers progress.
We would like to thank ACHE for funding DIL and for UHE’s support. Brian Black, the DIL Chair, will report to the ACHE chapter leaders in Chicago, IL, on September 18.
Tips on How You Can Support Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare Leadership
- When hiring candidates or selecting project team members, make sure to select people from a variety of backgrounds. Rather than fill a quota, remember that a variety of backgrounds can provide new insights and innovation.
- Mentor someone from an underrepresented background. This will add to a needed pipeline of minority talent.
- Volunteer in minority communities.
Contributors to this article: Amanda Forman and Brian Black