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Regional Health honored for diversity efforts

Jul 24, 2018 12:33PM ● By MED Magazine
Regional Health is one of five health systems in the United States to be honored by the American Hospital Association for efforts to create a diverse, inclusive environment for staff, patients and families.

The 2018 AHA Equity of Care Award will go to Navicent Health of Macon, Ga., during the July 27 AHA Leadership Summit. In addition, Rush University Medical Center of Chicago, Atrium Health of Charlotte, N.C., Cone Health of Greensboro, N.C., and Rapid City-based Regional Health will be named as honorees. The award program recognizes hospitals and health systems for their efforts to reduce health care disparities based on differences such as race, ethnicity, language and socio-economic condition.

“This year’s Equity of Care winner and honorees are pushing the field forward in diversity, inclusion and health equity,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “They have demonstrated that hospitals and health systems are committed to understanding the social determinants of health within their communities, and are on the front lines of bridging the gaps of equity within the field.”

In 2016, Regional Health launched a systemwide effort to create awareness focused on cultural competency education. As a result, 60 percent of caregivers participated in face-to-face training. This included special sessions created for medical staff. In 2017, this training was extended to all new caregivers on their first-day orientation, and in 2018 an additional session was included on their 90-day follow-up orientation.

“We have made diversity a priority at Regional Health,” said Paulette Davidson, Acting President and CEO of Regional Health. “As many as a third of our patients represent different cultures, and in order to effectively care for their medical needs, we need to understand their cultural backgrounds. It’s just good medicine.”

Also, Regional Health developed a job shadowing program for Native American students and organizations.