Spaulding Honored with 2021 American College of Health Executives of Massachusetts Diversity Leader Award
Today, the American College of Health Executives of Massachusetts announced that the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network was the recipient of the 2021 Diversity Leader Award. The honor recognizes Spaulding’s efforts to build culturally competent care, advocating for all communities and developing hiring and employee enrichment programs to be a more inclusive employer.
“This recognition is the result of a total commitment by all levels of our staff to prioritize diversity efforts in all we do. Over this past year and a half, we have seen a long overdue discussion and action on addressing inequities in our broader society. All of us at Spaulding heard from our own patients and staff that we needed to do better and have worked at creating sustainable change. We are incredibly proud of this award and know there is still much work to be done,” said Dr. Ross Zafonte, President, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.
In 2015, to encourage health care organizations to address racial disparities in all aspects of their operations, the American Hospital Association launched its #123forEquity pledge campaign. In a joint effort the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, and America’s Essential Hospitals stood together in a call to action to eliminate health care disparities. The criteria Spaulding was reviewed for the award included:
- increasing the collection and use of race, ethnicity and language preference data;
- increasing cultural competency training;
- increasing diversity in governance and leadership;
- improve and strengthen community partnership
Among the efforts Spaulding enacted that contributed to this recognition were creation of an Equity, Dignity, and Respect Council to spearhead diversity and health equity efforts. The council made up of staff from all levels from leadership to front line staff and was divided into areas of focus such as education and cultural humility, health equity and community outreach, and recruitment and retention. Some specific examples of efforts in this space was the development of new onboarding and training materials for staff, therapeutic product purchases for different skin tones and hair care to improve patient experience, job training programs for underserved populations, a resource website for staff and monthly education events.
“The evaluation and work we have done in these efforts has been tremendously rewarding. Much more than words on a page, it’s the tangible actions we have taken together and ongoing engagement by our staff that has made this so vibrant. I’m so honored we have received this recognition and energized to build on our progress as we forge ahead,” said Lynne Brady Wagner, Chief Learning Officer and Interim Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.
Spaulding’s work in health disparities links in with the broader Mass General Brigham’s United Against Racism (UAR) system-wide efforts. Established in the fall of 2020, the UAR program is a commitment by the 15-member and over 80,000-employee health system, the largest employer in the region, to actively address health inequity and racial disparities.
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About Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
A member of the Mass General Brigham Health System, the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network includes Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, with a main campus in Charlestown the 3rd ranked rehabilitation hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report, along with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge, Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center Brighton, and over 25 outpatient sites throughout Eastern Massachusetts. An acclaimed teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and home to the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding is recognized as the top residency program in the U.S. in the 2020/2021 Doximity Residency Navigator. Spaulding also was recognized by the 2021 Disability Equality Index as a “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” For more information, visit www.spauldingrehab.org.