In our Sponsor Spotlight series, CBI highlights our relationships with our sponsors, and the work they are doing to build a more equitable and just community within their own spheres of influence. Today’s Sponsor Spotlight focuses on Novant Health.
“Establishing an environment that supports diversity, inclusion and equity is one of Novant Health’s core values,” says Tanya S. Blackmon, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer. “By engaging the strengths and talents of each team member, we ensure a strong organization capable of providing remarkable healthcare to our patients, their loved ones and our communities.”
The past few years have provided an opportunity to deepen this commitment, which was already part of Novant Health’s DNA. “In order to achieve our mission to improve the health of communities, one person at a time, our CEO recognized that diversity, inclusion and equity was not optional. It had to be at the core of our strategic imperatives,” continued Blackmon. “We decided to not simply have a diversity and inclusion program, but to embark on a journey involving a culture change strategy aligned with our strategic business imperatives. We have held ourselves accountable with aspirational metrics to measure effectiveness in such areas as supplier diversity, healthcare equity, community outreach and fostering an inclusive culture. Today, we apply the diversity, inclusion, and equity lens onto every aspect of the work we do each day, just as we do with compassionate care.
“We’ve established system-wide councils to govern the effectiveness of our work and we have over 30 certified diversity and inclusion facilitators throughout our system who are ambassadors of diversity, inclusion and equity…. For our work, Novant Health has received national recognition from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and from leading publications like Forbes Magazine and Diversity MBA Magazine. In addition, our medical centers have been named ‘Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality’ four years in a row by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Health Equality Index. I’m proud of this achievement as it shows how we’re really understanding every dimension of diversity within our system and creating an environment where people feel welcomed and valued. Our 13 business resource groups have also played an integral role in our diversity, inclusion and equity strategy. These groups have allowed us to facilitate conversations in a more intentional way and have helped us to understand our team members as individuals and the communities they represent. “
“We also support the upward mobility of both Novant Health team members and community members through programs designed to improve opportunities for professional growth. Recent examples include:
Novant Health supports community partners like CBI because they play a part in fulfilling our mission: “We are committed to making this region a place where everyone can thrive,” said Blackmon. “But in order to thrive, we must all have access to and receive excellent care. Care goes beyond the four walls of a facility. Care is helping to improve other drivers of health like access to food, housing, education, and employment.
“This is where the power of partnership and collaboration comes in. Novant Health works with or financially supports local partners to provide services and remove socioeconomic barriers – employment, education, housing, access to nutritional food – many of which are outside of the healthcare industry but impact health downstream.
“Our relationship with CBI has helped develop our leaders’ understanding of equity. The bus tours helped our executives see where some of our patients live and how difficult it is for them to get access to healthcare. Because of these experiences, we’ve added more services and continue to do so today.
“In order to improve the health of communities, we must recognize that bias and barriers to opportunity exist and often prevent people from becoming their healthiest selves… Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and healthcare disparities.
“Novant Health cares for our communities beyond our walls because it’s where we work, live and play,” concluded Blackmon. “It’s embodied in our mission, vision and values. It’s simply who we are.“