"Throughout Methodist Health System, we are embracing intentional inclusion and diversity and championing cultural competency as key strategic imperatives for the organization."
By Tina Bowers, MBA, CDM
Director, Learning and Development
Methodist Health System
Diversity. What used to be a buzzword in healthcare is now an integral part of who we are, what we believe, and how we treat our patients and each other. Throughout Methodist Health System, we are embracing intentional inclusion and diversity and championing cultural competency as key strategic imperatives for the organization. What does this mean? Overall, our goal is to make Methodist a place that respects and engages the diversity of its employees, patients, and communities we serve. This requires dedication, discipline, and a strong foundation.
Our workforce encompasses a wide spectrum of distinct individuals, each with different backgrounds, perspectives, and talents. Together, all of the ideas and experiences each employee brings to his or her job makes the organization stronger. Why is this so important? Because of our inclusive environment, our employees are more engaged and satisfied as is evidenced by our being named a Best Place to Work by the Dallas Business Journal 13 years in a row.
Where did we start? Our commitment to diversity started at the top with senior leadership commitment and support. Our CEO and chief operating officer chair our intentional inclusion and diversity leadership council and ensure that employees at every level in the organization experience diversity training. Our employees:
- Complete mandatory annual diversity and cultural competency training
- Attend quarterly forums that include diversity education
- Receive ongoing education (on-demand and instructor-led classes) to help build cultural awareness and strengthen cultural competency.
A recent employee forum included a fun event we called diversity around the world where employees dressed to represent their country of origin. We provided questions about the many cultures and backgrounds that were represented. Employees were given passports and then visited various tables to get their passports stamped in order to gain a better understanding of that culture’s beliefs.
We also created intentional inclusion and diversity collaboratives on each Methodist campus and at Methodist Family Health Centers and Medical Groups and specialty practices. The collaboratives are multi-racial, multi-disciplinary, cross-functional groups of employees who serve as advisory boards to their hospitals. They initiate, organize, lead, and monitor the intentional inclusion and diversity activities on their campuses. In short, they are our diversity champions at the local level.
Because our patients also represent a diverse mix of cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, we developed the following cultural competency statement that embodies our values as an organization and as individuals within our organization: “At Methodist Health System, we are committed to providing patients with quality healthcare that is respectful and sensitive to their values, particularly those that emerge out of their diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds.”
How are we achieving cultural competency and embracing intentional inclusion and diversity? By:
- Understanding the markets we serve
- Becoming an integral member of the communities we serve
- Providing innovative and advanced services to continually improve quality and the patient experience
- Attracting and retaining a diverse workforce
- Partnering with diverse suppliers.
To better understand the markets we serve, each of our campuses partner with community organizations such as the:
- Best Southwest Partnership, which addresses healthcare disparities
- Community Partners of Dallas, which provides backpacks with school supplies to abused and neglected children
- Children’s HealthSM, which provides a Teddy Bear Clinic that educates children on first aid and when to call 911, and many more.
This helps us to better understand our patients’ needs so that we can provide healthcare services when and where the community needs them and in a way that is culturally sensitive and appropriate. The more we cultivate respect for these differences, the better we are as caregivers. And, we truly want to be the best.
If you’re looking for a diverse organization that is committed to providing care in a culturally competent, intentionally inclusive environment, consider Methodist Health System. Visit us at
© Methodist Health System