Methodist is one of three 2019 Top Healthcare Diversity Organizations

Accepting the award were (from left) Dr. Stephen Hines, Cheryl Flynn, Jim O'Reilly, and Merridth Simpson.

By Cheryl Flynn, SPHR
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Methodist Health System

Methodist Health System is one of only three health systems in the nation to earn the 2019 Top Healthcare Diversity Organization Award from the Healthcare Diversity Council. We are extremely honored to receive this award. As one of the leading healthcare providers in North Texas, we recognize that this accolade affirms that in the area of diversity, our hearts are in the right place.

To quote the press release from the Healthcare Diversity Council: “The recipients were chosen based off of cultivating diversity initiatives that foster a more inclusive and equitable work environment.” Knowing well of Methodist’s deep commitment to diversity, we submitted a nomination to the Healthcare Diversity Council earlier this year. An excerpt of the nomination follows. We believe it fully captures the reasons that Methodist has earned a name among the nation’s top organizations for diversity.

… Methodist Health System is committed to maintaining a strong workforce composed of talented individuals from all walks of life who are reflective of the communities it serves. Methodist has a corporate Intentional Inclusion and Diversity (II&D) Council made up of senior executives from all functions of hospital operations. The council oversees systemwide initiatives focused on leadership commitment to diversity and inclusion, talent pipeline, learning and development, and supplier diversity.

In addition, each Methodist hospital has an II&D Collaborative focused on key healthcare diversity initiatives at a local level. Some of these include:

  • Patient Advisory Councils – forums for soliciting feedback on ways to improve patient care
  • Cultural competency and unconscious bias training – to promote equity of care
  • Investment in CultureVision® – a patient diversity tool that assists clinical teams in identifying and responding to patients’ unique cultural needs
  • Lunch and learns – covering important topics like LGBT patient care, social determinants of health, generational differences, and more
  • Multicultural celebrations and national cultural observances – that allow us to teach and learn about cultural history, celebrate differences, and foster inclusion.

Methodist places great emphasis on increasing diversity within the healthcare workforce pipeline, which is evident in its own workforce demographics. Beyond tuition reimbursement and nursing scholarship programs, Methodist partners with a local community college to allow employees, volunteers, and family members to obtain nursing degrees at no cost to admitted applicants.

Methodist established partnerships with Oak Cliff Works and the Dallas County Community College District to further its patient care tech (PCT) Career Pathway program, which provides local unemployed and underemployed community members with work readiness education and PCT certification. Upon employment at Methodist, participants then gain access to advanced careers such as nursing, surgical technologist, pharmacy technician, respiratory therapists, and others, along with tuition reimbursement, scholarships, and mentoring.

Methodist is a longtime participant in local pipeline programs such as the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program and the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program, providing growth, development, and internship opportunities to students of color who are interested in healthcare careers. 

Dedicated to workforce development, Methodist ensures that diversity is a key component of the health system’s recruitment strategy — with an emphasis on attracting more people of color, veterans, and people with disabilities. Once on board, employees can take advantage of programs designed to grow and guide them at various levels of their careers, and diversity within these programs is not only essential but ensured. Two popular programs are:

  • Emerging Leaders – geared toward aspiring leaders to prepare them for future leadership roles
  • ELEVATE – a more advanced program to prepare mid-level leaders for more senior roles.

Last but not least, Methodist significantly shines in its commitment to supplier diversity. Recognizing that small businesses remain the backbone of a thriving economy, Methodist invests 10 percent annually (25 percent on construction projects) in diverse spend supporting businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, and the disabled. Methodist has a formal Supplier Diversity Program in place with senior executive oversight, and it maintains an unwavering requirement for Tier II supplier diversity — whereby vendors must maintain diversity of their own suppliers as well.

If you’re looking for an organization that is committed to fostering and maintaining a more inclusive and equitable work environment, consider Methodist Health System. Visit us at

© Methodist Health System