Commitment to Action on Racial Inequities in Health Care
June 2020
 
Nashville Health Care Council members,
 
Over the past weeks, the Nashville health care community has been moved by the anguish experienced in communities around the country and the unjust death of George Floyd by officers of the Minneapolis Police Department. Our country is at a crux between racial, economic, and public health tensions that cannot go ignored.
 
As such, we have the responsibility to respond not just through words denouncing racism and discrimination, but by collaborating with our influential network to put forth a substantive plan of action.
 
Within our Council network and beyond, our commitments to inclusion and diversity are unwavering. Discrimination and intolerance have no place in health care or any industry. The goal of the health care community is to do no harm, and the Nashville Health Care Council is committed to doing our part to uphold this value while continuing to “inspire global collaboration to improve health care” for all.
 
We are proud to be board members of the Nashville Health Care Council because the Council has the opportunity to make a difference by educating members, while also finding better ways to support communities and people of color. As a board, we commit to being a part of positive change.
 
In the coming weeks and months, the Council’s 25th Anniversary will take place. While an anniversary is usually a time for celebration, in light of recent events, we see this is as time to envision a new future for health care, a time to take a deeper look at problems within our system, and uncover ways we as leaders can make a change.
 
We are an organization of more than 300 member companies and can make meaningful change for the communities we serve. As a board, we are focusing our attention on actions the Nashville Health Care Council and industry can take. As a member your feedback is just as valuable. We welcome your insight and vision as this action plan is built and encourage your continued outreach.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
The Board of the Nashville Health Care Council
 

Read the Council’s Position on Inclusion here.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Actions

June

  • Nashville Health Care Council Board releases “Commitment to Action on Racial Inequities in Healthcare” to members and media
  • Nashville Health Care Council makes anti-discrimination statement publicly available on website
  • Council Fellows Co-Chair Sen. Bill Frist distributes letter challenging Fellows alumni to address racial inequities within their organizations
  • Council Fellows interviews alumni of color on diversity in health care
  • Council Fellows hosts event: Reflective dialog session with Fellows alumni with Culture Shift
  • Council Fellows Alumni hosts event: Fellows Alum Veronica Mallett, M.D. discussed health disparities in the age of COVID-19
  • Leadership Health Care forms Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce
  • Leadership Health Care Board releases commitment to action letter to LHC members

July

  • Nashville Health Care Council creates internal staff working group on DEI
  • Nashville Health Care Council releases RFP for DEI Consultant and hires Barthwell Group
  • Nashville Health Care Council hosts event with Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Greater Nashville Technology Council, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Life Science Tennessee NashvilleHeatlh: “The Business of Discussing Race: A Terminology Toolkit” w/ Duane Reynolds, Just Health Collective
  • Nashville Health Care Council begins voluntary tracking of ethnic and gender makeup of members and speakers
  • Council Fellows hosts event: Small group gatherings for Fellows classes 2019 and 2020 on episode “Racial Inequities in Health and the Science Behind How We Solve Them” with Dr. Ruth Shim and Dr. David Williams, A Second Opinion podcast
  • Leadership Health Care survey LHC members on DEI within organization

August

  • Nashville Health Care Council hosts event with NashvilleHealth: Part 1 of “Conversations on Health Equity and Action to Eliminate Disparities” a three-part series
  • Nashville Health Care Council assembles Council-Fellows-LHC DEI Taskforce formed of Council board and members, Fellows Alumni Association Advisory board and other alumni, and Leadership Health Care leadership and members.
  • Council-Fellows-LHC DEI Taskforce kickoff with Barthwell Group
 
September
 
  • Nashville Health Care Council hosts event with NashvilleHealth: Part 2 of “Conversations on Health Equity and Action to Eliminate Disparities” a three-part series featuring U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams of U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services
  • More than 25 DEI interviews held between Council, Fellows, LHC members and Barthwell Group
  • Council Fellows forms DEI Taskforce
  • Leadership Health Care DEI Taskforce publishes update letter on DEI actions
  • Council Fellows DEI Taskforce kickoff

October

  • Council-Fellows-LHC DEI Taskforce review DEI assessment of the Barthwell Group
  • Council-Fellows-LHC DEI Taskforce members participate in two Barthwell Group planning meeting

November

  • Council-Fellows-LHC DEI Taskforce members participate in Barthwell Group planning meeting
  • Nashville Health Care Council Board taskforce discusses positions on DEI
  • Leadership Health Care hosts event “Industry Tour at Mathew Walker Comprehensive Health Center”

December

  • Council-Fellows-LHC DEI Taskforce members participate in two Barthwell Group planning meeting
  • Nashville Health Care Council Board updates bylaws for qualified Board member candidates in an effort to broaden the pool 
  • Nashville Health Care Council hosts event with NashvilleHealth: Part 3 of “Conversations on Health Equity and Action to Eliminate Disparities” a three-part series featuring Joseph Cacchione, M.D., EVP, clinical and network services, Ascension and Niesha Foster, vice president, product access and co-chair, Multicultural Center of Excellence, Pfizer
  • Nashville Health Care Council Board of Directors receives overview of key goals outlined within the Council DEI action plan
  • Leadership Health Care hosts “Lunch and Learn: Understanding and Addressing Social Determinants of Health to Optimize Behavioral Health and Health Equity” featuring Dr. Bryan Heckman, Director of the Center for the Study of Social Determinants of Health; associate professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Meharry Medical College

January

  • Council-Fellows-LHC DEI Taskforce members participate in final Barthwell Group planning meeting with Taskforce input 
  • Nashville Health Care Council staff begins preparing for implementation of action plan 

February

  • Action Plan “Roll Out” Begins
  • Nashville Health Care Council begins outreach to DEI leads at Council member companies
  • Nashville Health Care Council introduces recognition of diverse contributions to health care into annual social media calendar
  • Nashville Health Care Council introduces voluntary DEI tracking efforts

March

  • Internal work

April

  • Health Care Industry DEI Leads from the Council member network convene to explore opportunities. More than 30 in attendance.
  • Nashville Health Care Council, Council Fellows and Leadership Health Care announce Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan Goals to membership and public. Calls for support taking action.
  • DEI resource page launched at healthcarecouncil.com.