As the Partners HealthCare community celebrates Pride Month with a range of initiatives — including the first ever systemwide Partners HealthCare team at the Boston Pride Parade (pictured here) — a new emphasis on identity is helping to shed more light on aspects, strengths, and assets of human differences among Partners employees.
To explore how the program, Insight into Identities, aims to promote diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our community, we asked Partners Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Chief Officer Dani Monroe to share her perspective. Here’s what she shared with us:
How does diversity, equity, and inclusion expand our ability to effectively work with others and improve patient care? And while we may all say we support diversity at Partners, what does that commitment look like in action? Those were the central questions we aimed to answer in creating Insight into Identities, an educational series we’ll be rolling out across our system through February 2020. With a newsletter, media resources and discussion guides, each month will examine a different identity—shattering myths, provoking thought and creating a shared understanding of how our identities impact not just ourselves, but our patients, colleagues, institutions and entire Partners system.
Since it’s Pride Month, June was the perfect time to kick off the series with our first identity, the LGBTQ+ Community. Sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are all critical core aspects of the health care we deliver every day. And unfortunately, within health care overall, we know there are gaps in care for those who identify as LGBTQ+, with 56% of the community reporting some type of health care discrimination (National LGBTQ Taskforce). And discrimination also impacts the community at work, with 1 in 10 LGBTQ+ employees reporting negative comments about LGBTQ+ individuals from a supervisor (The Human Rights Campaign).
Our Insight into Identities toolkit this month aims to tackle those statistics head-on by arming our Partners community with information. We ask questions for reflection—exploring social norms and learned perceptions of LGBTQ+ individuals—then provide resources such as specific words to use or not to use when collaborating with or caring for members of this community. And we provide additional links to articles, podcasts and videos so we can all take the time to learn more.
This new series is meant to support and strengthen those programs already underway throughout our system—including the Transgender Health Program developing innovative best practices for patients at Massachusetts General Hospital and beyond. Our hope is that, taken together, these initiatives will help us to be a more inclusive place to work and receive care—and we can be part of the solution, building bridges and changing those social norms that still need to evolve.