AHA 24th Annual Leadership Summit: Diverse Angles
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By Meeta Gandhi

Part 2 of a two-part series; read Part 1 here.

Meeta - Equity of Care

Equity of Care Award recipients, along with Tomás Leon, President and CEO of the Institute for Diversity

On the second day of the AHA Annual Leadership Summit, I attended the track, “Equity of Care: Essential to Improved Quality and Lower Costs,” where Mr. Tomás Leon, President and CEO of the Institute for Diversity, was the lead moderator. The panel consisted of the Equity of Care Award recipients and finalists, who explained their organizations’ successful approaches to improving quality, reducing healthcare disparities, and promoting diversity within their respective organizations in response to AHA’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act Campaign. These organizations have shown impressive strides towards healthcare equity.

To summarize this panel, the main trends focused on by the presenters were co-creating, diversity dashboards, assessing local challenges, needs-asset mapping, diversity task force councils, cultural competency training, clinical/non-clinical gap analysis, and creating fellowships/internships to build diversity. It was an informative session that greatly increased my understanding of the initiatives in place, as well as those needed, to ensure diverse needs are met by the healthcare industry to increase equity of care.

I have listed some of their most notable quotes below.

Charles Modlin, MD, MBA, FACS – Executive Director of Minority Health, Cleveland Clinic (Award Winner)

  • “Hire a diverse population of caregivers – diverse cultures and different opinions. The more diversity, the more angles.”

Lourdes Negrón – Director, Inclusion and Diversity, The MetroHealth System (Award Honoree)

  • On diversity dashboards: “How do we create champions and tell a story? Dashboards work with talent management. Starting with patient race and gender, it can help us assess what the current state and challenges are. This will help us reflect more of the area we serve.”
  • On co-creating: “Co-create the culture for an inclusive workplace. Shared language, shared experience.”

Ninfa Saunders, PhD, FACHE – President/CEO, Navicent Health (Award Honoree)

  • On achieving equity of care: “One: Collection of real data (race, ethnicity, language, etc.) By signing the pledge, this will put life into it. Two: Cultural competency. Clinicians, providers, and the community have to come together as drivers. The community has to help each other to be better.”
  • On where diversity will be in three years: “It will reside in the heart and soul of the organization. The day there isn’t a need, that’s the day your organization is doing really well.”
Meeta - Intern 2

SEP Interns with Jasmin Clark, IFD Membership and Education Specialist (far right) and Tomás Leon, IFD President and CEO (just right of center)

To wrap up, I’ll share two additional highlights of my trip:

Connecting with fellow SEP interns from across the country and sharing our summer experiences, what we have learned, and where our paths may take us. As the next generation of healthcare leaders, it is never too early to start building our network in order to support each other for what the future holds. I am excited for future opportunities to connect with them!

Meeta Gandhi, Andrew Chastain and Michelle Lee

Meeta Gandhi, Andrew Chastain and Michelle Lee

In addition, meeting and spending time with Andrew Chastain, managing partner and chairman of Witt/Kieffer’s Healthcare practice, and Michelle Lee, Witt/Kieffer consultant, was an invaluable experience, giving me the opportunity to learn more about the healthcare industry from a different perspective. They both shared personal experiences that have led them to the positions they are in today, which greatly expanded my knowledge on executive search practices. I am so thankful for my summer experience at Witt/Kieffer and the opportunities to meet great people and leaders along the way!

Meeta Gandhi is a summer intern at Witt/Kieffer through the Institute for Diversity’s 2016 Summer Enrichment Program.

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