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Reflecting and Serving our Increasingly Diverse Communities

Washington State Hospital Association Annual Meeting
October 16, 2014

Anthony A. Armada, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Swedish Health Services

Senior Vice President
Providence Health and Services


WSHEF proudly supported the Washington State Hospital Association's (WSHA) annual meeting session entitled Reflecting and Serving our Increasingly Diverse Communities by ACHE Fellow, Tony Armada.  Mr. Armada joined Swedish Health System in 2013 as its Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Armada brings to health care leadership in Washington State a vast resource on the topics of diversity and inclusion.  Before joining Swedish, Mr. Armada was President for Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Illinois and President and CEO for Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.  Mr. Armada has served as Regent-at-Large for District 3 of the American College of Healthcare Executives, is a member of the American Hospital Association’s Equity of Care Committee and also served as Chairman of the Institute for Diversity in Healthcare Management. 

Mr. Armada’s presentation focused the audience of hospital executives and board members on the diversity of our communities, organizations’ understanding of diversity and inclusion and the impact on quality of and access to care.  By 2050, about half of the Unites States population will reflect diverse individuals and a lack of cultural competence may impact clinical outcomes.  Some examples cited by Mr. Armada included: 

• A mistake made in diagnosing the patient’s condition due to a communication barrier;
• Lack of knowledge about traditional remedies leading to a harmful drug interaction;
• A patient not adhering to medical advice because the patient didn’t trust the provider. 

Based on Mr. Armada’s survey of the audience, 70% or more of the organizations present had a strong commitment to diversity and engaged in efforts to foster diversity competence and understanding.  This commitment to diversity and inclusion will help address the disparities in quality of and access to care by underserved communities.  Mr. Armada also provided the audience with ideas about using diversity data to address issues of disparities and the following resources improve organizations’ diversity and inclusion efforts: 

• Institute for Diversity in Healthcare Management (sponsored by AHA and ACHE);
• Equity of Care – Call to Action;
• Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program (ACHE program); and
• Diversity Inc.

WSHEF is excited and proud to have such an exceptional leader in our State with a commitment to integrating inclusion and cultural competence into our healthcare system.  For more information about WSHEF’s commitment to diversity or to get involved in diversity initiatives, contact Gregg Davidson or Lori Nomura, WSHEF diversity committee co-chairs. 

By Lori Nomura, WSHEF Board Secretary, Member of Foster Pepper PLLC

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