Building Equity for All People
Building Equity for All People
We value every single team member. The better we take care of ourselves, the better we can care for our patients. When we treat each other with respect and dignity — supporting and celebrating our diversity — we are better able to show that same respect and support to our patients.
We’re striving to shape our ecosystem to support our team members holistically, not just when they’re on the job. We recognize that food insecurity, housing issues, and employment impact our team members just as they impact the communities we serve.
We’re taking steps to address those issues for the team — including raising our minimum wage so they can have a life beyond just paying the bills.
Equal care for all people is more than a goal — it’s an objective we’ve set and are actively working toward. We’re addressing three primary areas to help us achieve that objective: physical access, cultural competency, and quality of care. Obviously, we can’t care for patients if they can’t get to us. We’re working with local agencies to make sure all of our care facilities are accessible via public transportation.
We are also focused on making sure our care delivery is equitable — being mindful of and addressing the stark disparity in maternal health outcomes for minority populations, for example. And through our AHS YOUniversity team member training and education program, we’re making sure our team is trained on diversity, inclusion, cultural sensitivity, disabilities, and other considerations that directly impact both patient care and our workplace.
Our reach is extensive, and our influence goes far beyond Atlantic Health. Our Supplier Diversity Program evaluates our vendors for alignment with our diversity and inclusion values, and it boosts the share of our spend with diverse and small businesses.
Our current spend with women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses is 11% and growing. From a people perspective, we are targeting recruitment of medical residents and allied health professionals with an eye to diversity and inclusion, which will help us deliver culturally sensitive care. For our board of trustees, too, we are recruiting for diversity as well as for expertise outside the health care realm.
Our team members are an inspiring force for good. They’ve packed thousands of meals for the food insecure on the Martin Luther King Day of Service. They’ve mentored differently abled youth, some of whom have joined us as team members. They’ve collected and packed supplies for Ukraine relief, worked in soup kitchens, helped with Habitat for Humanity — the list goes on. Atlantic Health enthusiastically supports our volunteers and applauds their efforts.
We’re not just in it together for Atlantic Health. We’re in it together for the human race.
We're working to improve the health and well-being of individuals, the community and the environment with which we work and live. Through programs and trusted partnerships, we strive to extend our service to the community beyond our walls, with particular attention to vulnerable communities.
We strive for an inclusive health care environment where patients, visitors and employees are welcomed and afforded the same treatment regardless of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, immigration status, socioeconomic background, disability and age.
Atlantic Health System continues to focus efforts on recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, with special attention to manager and above positions. We have expanded both our reach locally, regionally and nationally and our partnerships with higher education and professional organizations to maximize our pool of potential team members. For current team members, we continue to implement career development and progression programs and provide resources to increase their skills and job satisfaction.
We're increasing underrepresented groups, particularly females and minorities. To this end, we welcomed Dr. Judy Washington, Associate Chief Medical Officer for Atlantic Medical Group, to the ESG Committee for her physician perspective and we renewed our partnership with the Bluford Leadership Institute to cultivate a “pipeline of culturally competent underrepresented scholars for leadership roles in health care.” We also developed minority physician clerkships and minority mentoring programs.
We have implemented industry-leading Supplier.IO technology and are using its powerful data and management tools to manage our supplier universe and increase partnerships with female, minority, veteran and LGBTQ suppliers. In our first phase, we are identifying our current baseline and setting 2023 targets.
Communication is essential to providing effective patient care. We have multiple initiatives underway to enhance communication with non-English speakers. We're enhancing current interpretation and translation systems, translating the our website (phase 1 completed) and implementing an internal language certification program.
Nearly 1,000 team members and leaders are working together on common goals. Groups include African-American, Asian-Pacific Islanders, Emerging Leaders, Latino, LGBTQ, People with Disabilities, Veterans, Women Leadership and Working Parents.