April 11, 2016

University, Health System leaders gather to launch new diversity initiative

Six vital strategies to help leaders integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into operations

Diversity Graphic

More than 400 leaders across the organization came together on April 11 to officially kick off a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategic planning process for the health system. University of Michigan President Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D., delivered kick-off remarks promising a “bottom up” approach that involves input from team members at all levels and across all departments.

“We’re empowering everyone to get involved and help shape this process,” said Schlissel. “If we succeed, it’s not just UMHS that benefits; it’s all academic medical centers nationally. We’re creating a model diversity, equity and inclusivity initiative in health care across the U.S.”

Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Medical School Dean Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D., set expectations and charged the leaders in attendance to get their own teams involved in developing DEI initiatives tailored to their specific departments and areas of operation.

“We’re strongest when we work together. When we better understand our patients, we can provide far better health care and a much more productive work environment for faculty and staff and our trainees,” Runge said.

UMHS faces an increasing array of opportunities and challenges as the landscape of academic health care continues to change. In order to realize its vision of performance excellence in all three areas of the tripartite mission, a talented and diverse workforce is needed.

Six vital strategies were outlined to help leaders integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into operations, ultimately supporting the institution’s goal to create an inclusive environment where everyone, including students, patients, faculty and staff, feels valued.

Diversity Graphic 2

“These strategies are placed at the forefront of our planning process as a way to align our activities with the overall organizational strategic plan. They are absolutely crucial to the success of our health system,” said David J. Brown, M.D., associate vice president and associate dean for health equity and inclusion.

Materials from the event, including photos and a video, will be posted on a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website.