UPMCUPMC is a proven integrated delivery and health finance system — the first of its kind in western Pennsylvania. We have 20 academic, community, and specialty hospitals, more than 500 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, employ 3,500 physicians, insure 2.5 million health plan members, and offer an array of rehabilitation, retirement, and long-term care facilities.

As the largest non-governmental employer in Pennsylvania, with over 60,000 employees, we employ and provide health services to an increasingly diverse population creating a catalyst for an effective collaboration between the UPMC Center for Engagement and Inclusion and the Donald D. Wolff, Jr. Center for Quality, Safety, and Innovation at UPMC. Together, we share the UPMC goal of ensuring our patients, health plan members, and customers have access to culturally appropriate health care and information that encourages healthy lifestyles. We are preparing our workforce to address the diverse needs of patients, families, and communities. We share our progress with the Board Inclusion and Diversity Committee of the UPMC Board of Directors, annually.

Our cultural awareness model, C.H.R.I.S.* is designed to help employees understand the diverse attributes that make every individual unique, and serves as a reminder to treat others the way they want to be treated. Our model is supported by tools and resources to help us respond to the beliefs, practices, cultural and linguistic needs of our diverse patients, employees, and health plan members. Our tools help us provide quality health care for all communities, including LGBT, immigrants, interfaith, people of color, refugees, and people with disabilities (in partnership with the UPMC Disability Resource Center). And our community partners help validate our approach.

Our most recent C.H.R.I.S. initiatives include:
C.H.R.I.S. integration into the Electronic Health Record: Ensures accurate diversity attributes are included in the patient record across all systems, including inpatient and outpatient. When we have accurate information, we can effectively communicate with patients and their families and ensure we are prepared to address the diverse needs of patients when they arrive at a UPMC facility.

The C.H.R.I.S. Hotline: This 24 hour a day/7 day a week hotline helps employees connect to resources that help ensure that patients receive timely, cultural appropriate care. “Our hotline is a one-stop-shop number for employees to call for any available UPMC service a patient may need from translation services to accessible devices. Ultimately our process creates efficiency, expedites patient care, and satisfies everyone involved,” said Tami Minnier, chief quality officer.”

Being culturally aware enhances our employee, patient, and member experience. Like other organizations, we have annual mandatory cultural awareness training for all employees, track and publish completion rates, and we offer internal courses, lunch and learns, and workshops customized by department throughout our facilities.

“We are pleased with our progress as measured by our cultural competency index and continuous improvement of our employee, patient, and member satisfaction scores. But it is our collaboration with each other, our business leaders, and employees that makes all the difference,” said Candi Castleberry Singleton, chief inclusion and diversity officer.

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