Tags: community , redesigning care , community partnerships

“Today marks a milestone for Partners,” said our own David F. Torchiana, MD, as he helped launch the first-ever Diversity & Inclusion Summit: Many Perspectives, One Community.

This inaugural event was an inclusive discussion that will help our organization acknowledge the interconnectedness of Patient Care and Workforce, and ensure Diversity and Inclusion is a core component of all aspects in our organization. Ongoing conversations set in motion by the Summit will also shape the Partners HealthCare Diversity & Inclusion Vision Statement. Every participant at the Summit was given the opportunity to contribute their ideas for adding to and enhancing this document to ensure inclusivity at every level of Partners HealthCare System.

Driving Summit planning and execution was Dani Monroe, Partners Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, and the 27 members of the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Steering Committee who represented various entities around the system. Together, this team developed the Summit framework and programming, with the ultimate aim of integrating Workforce and Patient Care while creating a common language around Diversity & Inclusion. The members of the Steering Committee also facilitated round table discussion with more than 270 attendees throughout the day.

“Our employees should be representative of the diverse characteristics, thoughts and beliefs of the patients we care for at our institutions,” said Peter Markell, Executive Vice President of Administration and Finance, CFO & Treasurer. “When you think about a mosaic, one small tile isn’t very impressive, but when you put all the pieces together you create something incredible. The strength of an organization stems from the mosaic of people and ideas that make up its workforce. Not only is diversity and inclusion the right thing for us to do, but it is also a good thing to do because it provides a competitive business advantage.”

Our employees should be representative of the diverse characteristics, thoughts and beliefs of the patients we care for at our institutions.

Peter Markell, Executive Vice President of Administration and Finance, CFO & Treasurer

Summit Grand Rounds highlights:

Patient Care – Damon Tweedy, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University and author of Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, spoke candidly about the biases he faced in medical school, during his residency and as a practicing physician. He also presented some sobering statistics on the factors that contribute to health disparities within the African-American population in the U.S. and the contrast between black patient and black medical provider populations regionally and nationally.

Power and Communities – Sukhvinder Obhi, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, spoke about the research around power in diverse social contexts, and he offered some lessons for community building based on that research.

Organization/Workforce – David Jackson, PhD, Partner at Mercer, presented on Leadership Development and an Inclusive Health Care Work Environment. His data-driven outlook focused on attracting and retaining tomorrow’s talent, building for an unknown future, cultivating a thriving workforce and assessing leadership performance and development.

Matt Fishman, Vice President for Community Health, said he was excited about the future collaboration and innovation this Summit would help to cultivate and grow at Partners. “I thought the Summit worked very well. There were new content, new connections, lots of energy and strong momentum for the challenging work ahead. I learned a lot and am delighted to have met some new colleagues. I look forward to being part of this essential work as it moves forward,” he said.