Welcome to Jefferson’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement. It is an honor and privilege for me to serve as its Executive Vice President. I am incredibly grateful to fulfill the strategic work that represents the many diverse voices of our organization. We do this by holding ourselves accountable, at every level of the organization, by nurturing an inclusive and respectful environment, valuing our uniqueness and the rich diversity of our communities, and cultivating an environment of fairness, belonging and opportunity.
We are committed to respecting the age, gender, political, cultural or religious background or any characteristic or belief that make each one of us unique. By valuing all people, we not only create a respectful and inclusive work environment, but also a place of healing. We are dedicated to providing an environment that encourages the professional and personal growth, respects the talents, and recognizes the uniqueness of each employee. Having a diverse workforce helps our health system and university interact effectively with a diverse community and provides the highest quality of patient-centered care and education.
My definition of diversity is ‘any difference that makes a difference.’ Many things make us different, and the more we learn about these differences, the more we break down barriers and build familiarity, comfort and trust. Studies show that organizations with more diverse staff achieve better outcomes and greater success. When people see others who are different from them, they become curious ask more questions, and create diversity of thought in how they approach business issues and arrive at creative solutions.
For Jefferson to cultivate this environment of inclusion and respect, we have designed a Blueprint for Action that includes five dimensions:
- Leadership and Governance: To be successful, we will commit to a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging across all levels and aspects of Jefferson.
- Marketing and Communications: We will strengthen this sense of belonging and address inclusion through greater consistency, collaboration, education communication and connection.
- People: From our hospitals and classrooms, to the studios and labs, diversity at all levels, including leadership, is critical to our success.
- Experience: Every person who walks through the doors of our university or our hospitals must feel welcomed and respected.
- External Stakeholders: We are committed to economic inclusion by offering more opportunities for diverse and local vendors. We will do this by engaging more regularly with minority-owned businesses to submit bids. This collaboration will be integral to achieving a transition towards sustainable market economies.
We believe that people working together as a team is critical to our value strategy -- to deliver great care and an exceptional educational experience. Our dedication to cultural diversity and inclusion recognizes that teams perform optimally and contribute to the greater good when we emphasize our shared strengths, our unique perspectives and rich interplay of ideas and skills. We are committed to helping our employees understand and respect the cultural, religious or sexual orientation and gender identity of our patients and our colleagues. It is through this understanding that we can achieve great things together and uphold our values: put people first, be bold and think differently, and do the right thing.
As we move to building our own culture of inclusion, we begin to make a difference right here at Jefferson, which will lead us to make a difference in the world.