You can no longer ignore the fact that racism truly has an impact on our health.
The pandemic has shed light to healthcare inequalities in access and quality of care between communities. It is imperative to address these issues to improve patient outcomes.
There has been a lot of discussion on this issue and the social determinants of health amongst communities. It has been established that healthcare organizations need to shift from volume-based to value-based care. Despite these realizations, the dial on increasing and improving diversity at the board or C-suite levels has not really moved.
This type of change needs to start in the boardroom. Boards must actively work to confront healthcare disparities. This can be done by representing the diverse population through board members. It has been proven that diversity and organizational performance are positively correlated.
Reaching out to more diverse candidates with various expertise allows boards to tackle community issues through a more holistic lens. My organization, The Leverage Network works to prepare minority talent to serve as board members, because there is no lack of minority talent, they’re simply hiding in plain sight. To do this, boards must reevaluate their talent-search protocols.
Tackling these issues is necessary for organization and community sustainability.
Read more about my thoughts and DEI as a business imperative in healthcare below.
Antoinette Hardy-Waller is a change catalyst actively working to improve diversity in healthcare, for patients and employees. Antoinette founded Strategic Healthcare Transformations (SHcT), a national consulting firm assisting health systems in the development of post-acute continuums of care and population health strategies. She is also the CEO if The Leverage Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to championing African Americans to Governance and Board roles in healthcare. With 30 years experience in healthcare leadership and experience on various boards, she has made it her mission to make people’s voices heard.