Diversity and Inclusion
At Washington Health System, we believe that when we value diversity and inclusion, everyone benefits.
Diversity is defined as variations of characteristics in a group of people. There are certain characteristics that people are born with, like race, sex, and ethnicity. There is also diversity in terms of life experiences, education, socioeconomics, religious affiliation, disabilities, gender identity and veteran status. At Washington Health System, we believe that when we respect and appreciate each other’s unique human experiences, we can gain a different perspective and grow as people and an organization. Diversity fosters appreciation.
Inclusion is an organizational effort to ensure that diverse individuals and groups are treated equally, welcomed and accepted. Inclusion makes people feel valued for the unique attributes that they bring to a group. Many times inclusion necessitates organizational changes from shift in mind-set to modifications in processes and even physical spaces. At WHS, we modified our registration process to include questions regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and more. This is a great way for transgender or other LGBTQ+ individuals to share information privately with us so that we can better care for them and to continue to cultivate an open-door trusting patient-centered relationship.
Cultural and ethnic diversity of patients can also cause inequities in care.
Language barriers can cause important information to be lost in communication. We have increased the availability and knowledge of our language line to provide translation services to all patients who are in need of such services. Cultural norms and customs may require adaptations in the way that healthcare is addressed. When we better educate our employees about diversity, we can better tailor care for each individual.
Here are some ways that we are putting diversity and inclusivity to work within our organization and our team:
- We provide diversity and inclusion related training to team members and WHS strives to integrate inclusivity into every aspect of our organization.
- We fulfill a social responsibility of fostering inclusion in our community which is reflected in our hiring and recruiting polices.
- We offer opportunities for career advancement for all of our employees regardless of sex, religion, socioeconomic background, etc.
- We enact policies and procedures to support patients, employees, staff and volunteers.
- We ensure that our leadership is promoting the values of the organization and how those values directly support diversity and inclusion.
- We provide opportunities to learn from and celebrate diversity and different cultures.
- We consult with our diversity committee and other trusted community sources to find new ways to meet the needs of community.
Focused on your needs.
Washington Health System has always valued diversity but we also understand that we need to be constantly learning and adjusting as an organization to meet the changing needs of the community. Our diversity committee as well as leaders keeps abreast of new research and data to provide insight into the best practices for making inclusion effective.
Washington Health System is proud to have the privilege of working with and for a diverse population. We look forward to learning and growing as a workplace, healthcare provider and community member by integrating diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our organization.