Employees help drive YNHHS diversity and inclusion efforts

Yale New Haven’s Diversity and Inclusion Councils aren’t even a year old, but members are already hard at work, and determined to make a difference.

Councils are up and running at Bridgeport, Greenwich and Yale New Haven hospitals and the Health Services Corp. (HSC). A Northeast Medical Group council will launch soon, followed by Lawrence + Memorial and Westerly councils in the future. The councils consist of employees who lead, organize, inform and support YNHHS’ diversity and inclusion strategy.

They are exploring activities to promote diversity and inclusion in three main areas: education/awareness, talent management and community engagement. The HSC council is planning a career day for YNHHS employees highlighting opportunities in the health system. The council is also exploring offering and job shadowing and other programs for the community.

“Being in a room with other people who care about these social issues and about our organization being a diversity and inclusion leader is powerful,” said Emma Hopkinson, practice transformation consultant with Clinical Integration and Population Health, and HSC council vice chair. “To have that commitment from your peers and the support of leadership for this work is amazing.”

She is among hundreds of employees getting involved in YNHHS’ diversity and inclusion activities by serving on councils, leading and attending a variety of diversity and inclusion classes and participating in workshops with local and national activists.

More than 330 YNHHS employees and physicians attended a May workshop on identifying and defeating unconscious bias. After the workshop, 15 employees were trained to serve as trainers for future workshops.

Throughout the year, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion also holds “Let’s Talk” events led by local and national diversity and inclusion leaders. These included a July 13 event with Tarana Burke, founder of the 'me too.' movement, along with a panel discussion among YNHHS leaders.

On Aug. 3, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will hold an event, “Brave Conversations,” noon - 1 pm, Max Taffel conference room, Yale New Haven Hospital York Street Campus. Employees will have the opportunity to share their opinions and concerns on topics that might be uncomfortable, but necessary to acknowledge. Employees will also be able to discuss, address and ask questions related to diversity and inclusion in a safe and respectful setting. Lisette Martinez, chief diversity officer, will facilitate the conversation. All employees are welcome.

As awareness about YNHHS’ diversity and inclusion efforts grows, employees will have more opportunities to get involved. Watch for future communications about events. For a list of upcoming classes and workshops, visit the training section on Employee Self Service or contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion: diversity@ynhh.org.