USC’s Keck Medicine has taken a big step to improve the disparate treatment in medicine by hiring its first-ever Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Shannon Bradley, who started in the role on September 26, aims to bring more equity and diversity to the health center, addressing issues of patient and employee inclusion.
Bradley predicts that his work will focus on a few specific areas: the first being facilitating an ongoing process of learning and education by implementing vocabulary training, addressing biases and ways to communicate in a productive on the experiences of others. Bradley also plans to encourage greater interaction with members of the communities Keck serves.
Another area of focus is inclusion, which Bradley said she believes Keck employees need to constantly practice. She hopes to foster a more inclusive environment through a combination of education and identifying resources and tools. Overall, his goal is to make Keck more inclusive for employees, patients and partners.
“[Inclusion] is like a muscle. And so the more you practice or reinforce inclusion and your practices of inclusion, the more you build that muscle memory,” Bradley said.
The final area she plans to focus on is equity, which Bradley says needs to be present in all aspects of life. For Bradley, improving equity will involve evaluating current procedures and analyzing data to set goals, as well as a strong sense of accountability for meeting those goals.
“Equity will continue to be an overarching theme that we embed in everything we do. It is a process and an outcome,” she said.
Keck Medicine has taken other steps in this area, including establishing the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee in June 2020, a set of six employee resource groups that support members of traditionally private groups. of their rights and disseminate educational toolkits to the community. Keck has also worked to develop a Health Equity Dashboard to examine workplace demographics and determine how this can be expanded to be more inclusive. They have also implemented bias training, with 94% of the leadership team, including medical directors, completing the training last year.
Bradley will also work with Keck’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee to build on past accomplishments using information they have previously gathered to set new goals and help plan initiatives.
“What we ultimately created was a forum and a vehicle to be able to seize on-going opportunities [and] shape the programming,” said Smitha Ravipudi, chair of the committee.
People outside of Keck Medicine will also be involved. Christopher Manning, the University’s Director of Inclusion and Diversity, will also work closely with Bradley and the Steering Committee to unify efforts between the health center and the rest of the University. With more than twenty schools, several USC factions are involved in similar but isolated efforts to achieve their equity goals.
Accomplishments that Manning considers highlights include the Minority-Serving Institutions Recruitment Conference, which will be held for the second time this year, and is working with minority-serving institutions to allow their students to interact with programs. graduate studies from USC. The conference is an early acceptance pathway program that was developed in conjunction with Xavier University, and the focus is on recruiting and enrolling a socioeconomically, racially, and ethnically diverse group of students. various.
“I seek to foster a singular vision of equity, inclusion, and belonging at USC,” Manning said.
He said he wanted the efforts to apply in the classroom context, the clinical context and all other areas so that people involved in different parts of the University can all understand each other and learn together, as well as expect the same level of respect in different parts of the university system.
Bradley said she looks forward to her time in the role and feels this new position is an essential means of providing exceptional care.
“We have a reputation for excellence, and the goal and the objective really was to continue to provide exceptional care and results,” she said.
Bradley believes these jobs are extremely important in healthcare because they can determine the comfort level, safety, and health outcomes of a number of people. With this new direction, Keck Medicine hopes to provide a better experience for those who work there as well as those who receive care, while setting a positive example for other institutions. It’s the next step in a long journey, Ravipudi said.
“We are very committed to ensuring that this work is not a committee. It’s not a goal. It goes way beyond that to the point where it’s actually woven into our fabric and ultimately hardwired into who we are,” she said.
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