December 15, 2014
In This Issue
President's Message
Education Report
Annual Meeting/Election Report
Membership Update
Diversity and Inclusion in Health Care: A Template for Leaders
The Secrets to Career Fulfillment
Newsletter Tools
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President
Heather Fuller, FACHE
Sunflower Health Network
Salina, KS
President Elect
Bob Bregant, FACHE
Steele Healthcare Solutions, LLC
Shawnee, KS
Past President
Dave Engel, FACHE
Phillips County Hospital
Phillipsburg, KS
Secretary/Treasurer
Melissa L. Hungerford, FACHE
Kansas Hospital Association
Topeka, KS
ACHE Regent
Jeremy Armstrong, FACHE
St. Luke Hospital and Living Center
Marion, KS

Diversity and Inclusion in Health Care: A Template for Leaders

In mid-June 2014, I received a call from Terra Levin, Regional Director for ACHE, asking me if I would be interested in presenting at the annual ACHE Leaders Conference in September. The topic she asked me to present was on Diversity and Inclusion in Health Care and the invitation arose from the fact that the KAHCE Chapter had recently submitted a program application for a July program on this topic. I was honored to receive this invitation but knew this would involve thoughtful preparation and engagement of the entire board of KAHCE. Instead of simply planning for an educational program, we embarked on having discussions at the board level each month on this topic. This coincided with the call to action from ACHE for each chapter to submit a "Statement on Diversity" in alignment with our national organization's position on the right of all people to have fair and equitable care and treatment regardless of race, age, culture, sexual orientation or gender. Through thoughtful dialogue and email communications with my fellow board colleagues, KAHCE adopted a statement and also a more open communication approach regarding this topic. This all began back in December 2013 at the annual KAHCE Board retreat when we began discussing the need to step forward as a professional organization to address this issue as a social and community health need and not as a partisan political agenda. We agreed long before we heard from ACHE about the Statement on Diversity that this was the right thing to address as leaders in health care.

Through the hard work of Kate Conrad, FACHE, a few ACHE members in the Bi-State Kansas City Local Program Council and an engaged group of faculty and students from the University of Kansas Healthcare Management program, we presented our educational session on July 24, 2014. It was a huge success with a great turn-out and excellent speakers. The panelists presented what they had already been doing in their organizations and many participants asked great questions. It was exciting to hear so many ideas and to know that there was already so much in place in many of the Kansas City metro area hospitals regarding equity of care. So the good news was, this was not starting from a blank page but building upon what was already started many years ago by many facilities and organizations in order to provide the best care to patients.

Immediately after our annual board retreat in December, I took lots of notes, asked a lot more questions and did more research and reading. I contacted the National Institute of Diversity in Health Care Management and requested more material and information. I had met the CEO, Fred Hobby, in September 2013, when the Missouri Healthcare Executives Group, past Missouri Regent Patrick Bira and the Bi-State Kansas City Local Program Council presented a program on Health Care Equity and Inclusion at Rockhurst University, Kansas City. Mr. Hobby and I met again at the ACHE Congress in March 2014 and spoke more about this topic. I took more notes.... I did more research.... I began feeling a greater sense of purpose to stay on-course with advancing this discussion in the Kansas chapter....

One of my first actions was to ask every board member to take a look at their own facilities and to report back what they were already doing. I didn't want anyone to feel they needed to do anything more than that because the experiences I had up to that point had convinced me that this was an area in health care that is often quietly done without a lot of marketing or fanfare. In other words, there was already an infrastructure to build upon. Assessing the current status seemed like the right move. I received some really good feedback and appreciated hearing from Magnet-designated hospital leaders such as Judy Corzine, RN, FACHE, from Stormont-Vail and Gigi Siers, RN from the University of Kansas Hospital as well as Marty Baumbach, LT, USC, US Navy, Medical Officer Programs about the embedded diversity policies they follow in daily operations. More information came in from other organizations, including Children's Hospital of Kansas City, St. Luke's East Hospital and Truman Medical Center-KC.

From the feedback I received and from the responses and information from local facilities, as well as from research and interviews conducted with experts on this subject, I formed the outline for my presentation to the Leaders conference. I decided it was a "template for leaders;" a work-in-progress that could be flexed to fit individual organizational cultures and circumstances.

The following is an excerpt of my slides presented at the ACHE annual Leaders Conference on September 28, 2014.

CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE

  • Present the current state at Kansas facilities: build upon the infrastructure already formed
  • Broaden the definition of diversity
  • Create realistic goals with short time frames
  • Replace dialogue and agreement with actions
  • Highlight local best practice models
  • Keep diversity awareness on the front burner

BROADEN THE DEFINITION OF DIVERSITY

  • Not just race, ethnicity or skin color
  • Religion, culture, language and creed
  • Disabled: physical mobility or deformity; hearing/sight/speech impairment
  • Lifestyle and sexual orientation (LGBTQ)
  • Weight and size
  • Socioeconomic and educational status

HIGHLIGHT BEST PRACTICES IN YOUR COMMUNITY

  • Identify healthcare organizations with a long history of equity and diversity policies/programs
  • Find local leaders who are subject-matter experts
  • Create a community mission and message
  • Engage diverse community groups
  • Seek KAHCE leaders and health care organizations as champions

STOP TALKING AND START DOING!

  • Adopt and Communicate Statement on Diversity
  • Place Diversity topics on Chapter Board agenda
  • Use Chapter Newsletter,E-mail and Social Media
  • Assign a Diversity and Inclusion Leader
  • Task Membership, Education and Mentoring Committees to achieve one diversity action/year
  • Take a "straw poll" of Board and Committees Chairs organizations' diversity policies and programs
  • Facilitate opportunities for open dialogue
  • Push the message: "Inclusion and equity of care aligns with the universal health care mission and is simply the right thing to do." Fred Hobby, CEO, National Institute for Diversity of Healthcare Management

KAHCE 2014 SCORECARD FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

  • Diverse background in one or more members of the Board - YES
  • Include Diversity on the Agenda of the annual Board Retreat - YES
  • Adopt a Statement on Diversity - YES
  • Add Diversity to two or more Board meeting agendas/year - YES
  • Approve and Sponsor a Diversity face-to-face education program YES
  • Receive board member reports on their facility policies and programs - YES
  • Assign a Diversity and Inclusion Leader - NEAR FUTURE
  • Task Membership and Mentoring Committees to implement one diversity action/year - NEAR FUTURE

Patricia Sanders-Hall, M.A., FACHE
Vice President, Ancillary Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services
The University of Kansas Hospital
Education Committee Chair and Board Member, KAHCE

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