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On the eve of the anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death, we join our community to pause and reflect on the past year. Breonna Taylor’s death has helped raise the awareness and foster needed conversations across both our organization and our community at large about racial injustice and privilege. While I have much experience in the field of Diversity & Inclusion, the past year represented a significant shift in the way we talk about race, understand the pervasiveness of racial injustices, and process our grief.

As such, I am honored to help Hosparus Health become a more inclusive workplace and to facilitate stronger conversations dedicated to celebrating diverse perspectives. I am sure you recall our response to the racial injustice and civil unrest in our country and within Louisville in the summer of 2020. Then CEO, Phil Marshall, released statements and videos addressing our organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and posted them on the organization’s website.  The organization hosted a Virtual Vigil for racial justice and equality.

Though it may not have been as public, we have spent the months since then gathering data and insight into where the organization finds itself in relation to diversity and inclusion.  Many of you joined me at the end of 2020 during our inclusion listening sessions and conversations.  I appreciate your time and candor in our sessions; they will inform our direction forward.

It is critical to Hosparus’ growth and success that we all understand and value diversity, equity, and inclusion, not only among our team members and medical staff but among the patients, families, and communities we serve.  Of course, the issues raised by Breonna Taylor’s death shine a light on racial fractures in our community and in the larger world, and these topics are such an important area to ensure we make progress. However, creating a community that values diversity reaches far beyond race, to include and affect everyone! As much as we are different, we are similar in numerous ways. As we recognize this important anniversary, we remain committed as ever to continue our efforts toward healing and wholeness within our community.

Embracing diversity, equity and inclusion allows us to accept and appreciate both our differences and similarities, building a safe community of authenticity and belonging. It also creates an environment of trust where we understand and respect one another, allowing us to work as an unbreakable team.

Of course, much of the hard work starts with you and me. As we focus on these concepts, we must individually and collectively examine our values, beliefs, attitudes, assumptions, and biases.  We must understand that these dictate how we communicate and work with others in any setting we find ourselves in.

Hosparus Health’s Initiative will cover many areas, including:

  • workforce diversity,
  • providing culturally competent care to patients and families,
  • understanding the diverse communities we serve,
  • learning about our individual unconscious bias,
  • understanding the difference between diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,
  • valuing dissenting perspectives and dissimilar thinking.

I welcome your thoughts and perspectives. We all have a part to play in making Hosparus Health more inclusive and in challenging the biases we bring to the workplace. To keep this topic at the forefront, we will feature different aspects of this initiative in this column.  Thank you for joining me on this important journey. Share your thoughts and experiences with me via email: dmay@hosparus.org.

–Deborah May, MBA,BSN, RN, VP of Learning, Development & Inclusion

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