Healthcare and society are now two years into a period of renewed focus on improving diversity, equity and inclusion for both those employed within healthcare and those served by it. The hope, after devastating inequity and bias were brought to light through the pandemic and George Floyd’s murder, is that this “period” will in fact be permanent. It’s well past time to finally solve the lack of diversity within the upper echelons of healthcare and the gaping chasms in access and health equity between white and Black (as well as brown) populations.
So, then, what progress been made in the past two years? Is momentum being maintained towards bringing more Black voices and experience into healthcare, not just in word but also in deed through investment of FTEs and financial resources?
With the second federally-recognized Juneteenth holiday just passed on Sunday, the Jarrard Inc. DEI team, which operates under the Kaleidoscope name, wanted to get a sense of what’s happening across healthcare.
To do that, we sent questions out to some of our expert friends from across the industry whose work centers on DEI in healthcare – and beyond.
Every contributor reminded us that representation matters – it’s table stakes. And several pointed out the importance of organizations and leaders meeting people where they are by developing initiatives that fit with how those affected already live. That, rather than trying to pull people in and putting the burden on them.
Here are six themes from our conversations. Full quotes from the interviewees can be found below.