Racism continues to be a threat to the health of our community.
As a health care organization, we often care for people who have been impacted by racism. We are used to treating symptoms that cause people pain. Sometimes these symptoms are traced to our community, while some may be in our own organization. We do our part to treat the symptoms of racism in both areas.
In response to the rising focus on social justice and efforts to fight racism, we quickly developed and released an Eradicating Racism and Enhancing Health Equity Strategic Plan. The plan addresses disparities in the workplace and disparities that impact the lives of our staff and patients. As an organization, we resolve to use our compassion, creative ideas and collective commitment to ensure we foster a culture that acknowledges everyone equally.
We will help end racism and racial disparities in health care by:
- Treating people with dignity and respect
- Examining our own biases
- Measuring, tracking and reviewing our policies and practices to meet the needs of everyone we serve
- Leading change in our communities
We will make health care fair for every patient by:
- Requiring staff to go to learning sessions about unconscious bias – opinions we form about people without knowing it. This helps us understand and correct how past beliefs can affect the care we give.
- Teaching patient care staff to better know how to care for all people across the diversity spectrum.
- Hosting conversations with staff so we can all have open and brave talks about racial justice.
We work to develop a more diverse staff so we can better represent the people we serve. We do this by:
- Fostering a culture of belonging through employee-led Diversity Action Teams and Business Resource groups. These groups focus on Black/African American and Latinx staff experience, as well as military veterans, LGBTQ+ and women leaders.
- Working with with high schools and colleges to support education, job training and employment.
- Recruiting staff to increase diversity at all levels.
- Developing staff for leadership and board governance roles so we can better represent the people we serve.
Commitment to Workforce Diversity
The goal of our diversity and inclusion recruitment strategy is to have our workforce reflect the communities we serve. To truly attain our goals for equity and inclusion in the workplace, we must achieve racial equity in all levels of our organization. Special focus is placed on increasing diversity representation in leadership roles and direct patient care. These positions have a strong influence on the culture of our organization and the care we provide to diverse communities. Since 2019, we increased ethnically diverse leadership by 20% and ethnically diverse direct care nursing by 4.8%.
We help make health care fair for diverse communities by:
- Tracking health information of patients to guide solutions to improve their wellness.
- Working with communities to teach about health issues that affect them.
- Partnering with organizations that help reduce social impacts on health.
We are committed to our diverse local community and its economic development. We believe that everyone benefits when businesses, including minority-owned businesses, are afforded an opportunity to compete in the health care marketplace. Our Supplier Diversity Program is designed to enable and streamline procurement opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses. The program is a key component in our diversity and inclusion strategic focus. Our supplier diversity efforts help build connections with our communities while embracing diversity and inclusion. Our practices include:
- Using tools, like certified diverse supplier lists, and connecting with chambers of commerce to increase minority-owned business partners.
- Bringing together established contractors and minority-owned contractors to create partnerships ($1.3 million spent in fiscal year 2020) through our Mentor Protégé program.
- Offering hands-on experience on Froedtert Health construction projects to Bradley Tech High School students through our Health Tern program so they can learn about careers in construction and health care.
- Offering networking and mentoring opportunities for local minority-owned suppliers, even if they don’t work with Froedtert Health.
- Setting spending goals with minority-owned businesses and making sure our vendors do the same. Froedtert Health spent more than $26 million spent in fiscal year 2020 with minority-owned businesses.
Why Supplier Diversity Is Important to Us
- Diversity generates new perspectives and ideas.
- Our suppliers are also our customers.
- Investing in our community is the right thing to do.
- We choose to be a leader in strengthening our local diverse business community.
- We are committed to act as a corporate citizenship role model – for our employees and our community.
“The more we can reach out and connect with the community we serve, the better our ability to effectively serve that community.”
— John Balzer, vice president of facility planning and development
In 2020, 20% of total construction hours; 17% of construction spending subject to inclusion; and 20% of spending on architecture, engineering and consulting services went to minority and women business enterprises.
Learn more about our diversity and inclusion efforts.
Our Commitment to Help End Racism in Health Care
Racism continues to be a threat in our community. As a health care organization, we are committing to helping end racism and racial disparities in health care by examining our own biases, evaluating our policies to ensure they meet the needs of everyone we serve, leading change in our community and more.