Healthcare Connect: Adopting Equity and Inclusion Practices for Frontline Worker Success

“Sometimes all it takes is to ask a question to start the journey that takes you where you want to go.” — Coletta C. Barrett, VP of Mission, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center

The Adopting Equity and Inclusion Practices for Frontline Worker Success sessions challenged participants to reflect on their organization’s hiring processes and how to integrate policies and practices to intentionally provide frontline workers with equitable and inclusive opportunity to succeed and grow.

Track Sessions

Equitable Talent Development Strategies for Frontline Workers

Hiring practices that support equity can also impact broader community health. In this session, attendees explored how social determinants of health can inform inclusion strategies, what impact a diverse workforce can have on patient experience and health outcomes, and examples of programs employers can implement to help low-income employees overcome barriers to success.

Organizations and Presenters:
  • Anthony Goodwin, Director, ProMedica
  • Michael Jones, Manager, Community Programs, Rush University Medical Center
  • Nancy Copperman, Vice President, Community Health, Northwell Health


Supportive Policies to Empower Frontline Worker Success

Supporting the successful development of frontline workers requires more than a single program or initiative.  As the presenters in session 2 noted, it requires changes to organizational policies and practices that enable frontline workers to succeed.  Attendees gained insight on how HR policies and practices may unintentionally impact frontline workers and potential solutions to address those barriers and create more equitable and inclusive talent development strategies.

Organizations and Presenters:
  • Jan Harrington-Davis, VP Talent Acquisition, EEO/Diversity and Workforce Solutions, Henry Ford Medical Center; Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, National Center for Healthcare  Leadership
  • Coletta C. Barrett, VP of Mission, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
  • Shana Welch, Regional Director of Talent Acquisition, Mercy Health, Michigan


The Role of Supervisors, Managers, and Mentors in Creating an Inclusive Culture

In this session, presenters discussed the pivotal role that frontline supervisors, mentors, and managers play in the career development of incumbent workers and creating a culture of equity and inclusion.  The three organizations shared how they train and support mid-level leaders to improve retention, provide pathways for advancement and promote diversity.

Organizations and Presenters:
  • Karen Anthony, Director of Clinical Operations, Loretto/PACE CNY
  • Trish Jackson, Director, Clinical Education & Professional Practice University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Emily Brown, Retention Specialist, UnityPoint


Track 4 Highlights

A multitude of themes emerged during panel discussions with equity and inclusion experts.

  • So many hospital systems are asking the question: how can we be more inclusive in hiring locally, so our workforce better reflects our patient population?
  • Conversations ranged from a macro-view of systems change to a micro-view of meeting basic employee needs through wrap-around services and community partnerships.
  • There was a discussion around why healthcare organizations should join a “Healthcare Anchor Network,” a structure to engage local businesses and faith-based organizations that are anchored in the community to source talent.
  • There was widespread agreement that collaboration with other advocates is essential when addressing issues of inequity within communities.
  • If healthcare providers seek to increase employee retention and fortify the talent pipeline, listening to the voices of the frontline workers and creating personal relationships are critical.
  • Creating targeted training programs helps managers expand their communication and coaching competencies, in addition to their understanding of the diverse needs facing frontline workers. Equity training programs have the added benefit of building awareness of local community needs among organizational leaders.

Learn about the other workshop tracks at Healthcare Connect:

Designing and Marketing Your Talent Development Strategy

Developing Pipelines and Pathways for Frontline Workers

Implementing Healthcare Apprenticeships to Fill Skill Gaps


The National Fund for Workforce Solutions and Hope Street Group partnered to convene members of CareerSTAT and the Health Career Pathways Network in New Orleans on October 24 and 25, 2018. Healthcare Connect brought together nearly 200 healthcare professionals to share best practices in developing their frontline workforce in full-group sessions and selected breakout workshops. Learn more about CareerSTAT and the Health Career Pathways Network (HCPN).

Kip Hottman

-- Manager, Networks, Hope Street Group