By Gilbert Davis, Chief Diversity Officer, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
The incredible size, scope and diversity of the CHOP community means that we have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference for thousands of people – our patients, families, visitors, employees, community members, donors and more – every day.
With that opportunity comes tremendous responsibility. In all we do, we strive to eradicate systemic racism, increase diversity, achieve equity and promote inclusion within CHOP and throughout our community.
Diversity and inclusion are embedded into our core values and service standards; they are priorities across the enterprise.
What Does Diversity and Inclusion Mean at CHOP?
Diversity refers to the composition of our employees and patients – the variety of personal experiences, values and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and geographic region.
Inclusion refers to our CHOP culture whereby all our employees, patients and families feel welcomed, respected, valued and understood. It’s the way we fully integrate, leverage and develop the diversity of our employees and patients in everything we do.
“Creating a strong, consistent culture and attracting diverse leaders are among the most important things we can do to support diversity and inclusion at CHOP,” said Madeline Bell, President and CEO. “I am committed to making CHOP a place where people of all backgrounds, ages, races, abilities, sexual orientations and generations can collaborate, learn from each other and thrive.”
The richness of our diversity positively impacts the decisions we make, so we’ve shared our commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout the organization. We are also increasing our focus on supplier diversity; hiring more people of color for leadership roles; recruiting, developing and retaining diverse talent; and instituting pipeline programs, mentorship opportunities and internships to introduce underrepresented minorities to careers in science and medicine.
We’ve already made some progress toward these goals and more. We have:
- Created the roles of Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion in the Medical Staff. Our academic departments have established Associate Chairs of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.
- Expanded our Diversity Council to be a Diversity & Inclusion Council for Equity, which allows for more inclusive collaboration, operationalization and advancement of our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.
- Redesigned the Council to advise the President and CEO on diversity and inclusion.
- Established the Center for Health Equity, which will seek to further understand and actively address disparities in children’s healthcare.
- Created an enterprise-wide Supplier Diversity Committee and begun actively engaging with and investing in community partnerships and programs that assist minority local businesses.
- Identified ways to expand the range of hair and skin care products we provide to inpatients to include products specifically for patients who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color.
- Committed $25 million for Healthier Together, a five-year initiative we created in 2018 to address the social determinants of health in West and Southwest Philadelphia.
- Funded and resourced several STEM education programs for children to provide a window into careers at CHOP.
- Implemented weekly virtual training sessions on unconscious bias for leaders. In addition, leaders with hiring authority are now assigned a module about unconscious bias in recruitment and selection.
“I’m very proud of our achievements so far, but we have more to do in order to realize our shared vision for CHOP,” said Gilbert Davis, Chief Diversity Officer. “We have to do better for our children and families. We must be committed to advocacy for racial justice and healthcare equity, and for diversity in the workplace. We must do more and be intentional, and the work and culture change must be sustainable. We must help implement the changes needed in our community by being visible and building trust among all of our stakeholders.”