Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Policy, Community – How do they Fit?
Everyone starts their life in different circumstances, but it’s a shared belief that every human being deserves the right to be as healthy as possible. This is where health equity and policy come into play.
Health equity requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and healthcare.
Stormont Vail Health recognizes that there needs to be intention around how we can ensure community members, who have historically been denied wellness, can be included in opportunities to thrive.
“We utilize aggregated safety, outcome, and demographic data to identify if there is any evidence of disparities,” said Emersen Frazier, Director of Health Equity and Policy. “If there are disparities, we would address those differences through initiatives that involve all stakeholders. This could include team members, leaders, patients, or others while identifying the root cause and a way forward.”
Alongside health equity, there is another department that focuses on inclusivity. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a group that Stormont Vail takes great pride and necessity in – making sure that no one person’s differences act as a barrier for success or opportunity and everyone feels respected and valued.
“I think DEI work is especially important due to the effects of historical practices of not having diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces, policies, and practices. DEI work is a partner towards a more equitable society that exposes people to where systemic or individual’s own conscious or unconscious biases lie and how those biases can be counteracted to promote diversity, inclusion, and belonging in all spaces,” said Frazier.
So how do Health Equity and DEI compliment one another and work to strengthen our organization?
Health Equity and DEI both strive to ensure that Stormont Vail has an equitable environment for all people. This means there is not a team member or patient that feels isolated, discriminated against, or undeserving of world-class care.
The IDEA Committee at Stormont Vail serves as an open forum for team members and a leadership advisory council to discuss how the organization can be made better. Through this committee, there have been initiatives promoting minority-owned businesses, having courageous conversations, educations newsletters, events, and more.
Both Health Equity and DEI work closely with Community Engagement through the IDEA Committee and directly. Keeping community stakeholders engaged in our work ensures that we are creating programs and services that are in tune with the actual (not just perceived) needs of the community.
Are you wanting to help advocate for health equity within our community? There are plenty of ways to do so and work towards eliminating inequalities.
- Learn More with Free Resources!
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Aftershock, a documentary
- Volunteer time/money/resources to organizations helping the community
- Stay involved in decisions your legislators and local officials are making
- Share educational materials about health equity on social media to raise awareness
- Make new friendships with people who have different life experiences to learn more
- Visit the Stormont Vail Health website to learn more about the departments discussed in this blog
- Watch this short video about Addressing Health Inequality with Emersen Frazier