Our Strategic Priorities
Pledging to address equity, diversity and inclusion in health care and in our organization is just one step toward better ensuring the health and wellness of our communities.
The real work comes as we begin to improve, refine and create the policies, procedures and investments that will bring our intentions into reality.
After careful study, we have developed a roadmap for our journey in which we identified four key areas where we can – and will – make a difference.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap
Delivering Equity in Patient Care
Health equity is key to ensuring that we all have equal access to quality care and outcomes. It can only happen when we work together to remove the barriers individuals encounter in our communities.
At University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), we have been focusing our attention on making procedural and clinical changes that will reduce, and eventually eliminate, race-based care disparities. It includes:
- Regularly assess, communicate and address healthcare disparities in our organization
- Develop strategies to improve those disparities by 20% each year
- Make changes to clinical procedures when they result in race-based disparities, as we did with kidney function estimates
- Develop objective metrics that can be shared across the organization to monitor our progress from the perspective of our patients, our communities, and our workforce.
- Train 100% of our employees on unconscious bias (completed in 2021)
Diversity in Our Workforce
At UMMS, we are dedicated to creating a diverse workforce that reflects and represents the communities we serve. Our goals for this include:
- 40% of the leadership team will be people of color
- 10% of leadership new hires and promotions will be people of color
- Retain 5% more of our minority workforce
Achieving these goals will require a financial investment and dedicated programs, including:
- Developing programs that foster a sense of belonging
- Expanding mentorship opportunities via a System-wide program that matches mentors with mentees
- Ensuring optimized access to career advancement opportunities
- Providing ongoing training to understand equity, diversity and inclusion in the workforce
Investing in Our Communities
Research is clear that when a person does not have access to reliable, affordable and quality health care, their health and wellness suffer.
This, in turn, affects entire communities. Sick children are unable to go to school, impacting their long-term opportunities. Adults unable to manage chronic conditions cannot work, directly affecting their economic prospects.
At UMMS, we believe we are only as strong as our communities. To ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable and quality health care, we are dedicated to identifying the factors that negatively impact health outcomes and investing resources in disproportionately impacted communities. This work includes:
- Awarding $3 million in community grants to partners working to address employment and food insecurity in communities we serve
- Allocating $14 million in investments to businesses that positively impact the communities we serve
Each member organization will identify and initiate at least one community partnership opportunity that impacts local purchasing or hiring in communities we serve.
Expanding Partnerships Outside Our Organizations
We are just as committed to working with diverse organizations and individuals outside of our organization as we are internally.
To achieve our goals, we are actively developing processes to ensure our contracts with minority businesses reflect the communities we serve.
Over the next few years, we will:
- Diligently work to attract new minority-owned partners to bid on UMMS projects through our Minority and Women-Owned Business Program
- Expand our mentorship programs to include more minority-owned businesses
- Require each member organization to partner with one new minority-owned business each year