American Heart Association

Diversity Engagement Opportunities

Challenge

Create an organizational mindset and increase competencies to enable maximum impact on our goal to be a catalyst for wellbeing and health equity.

Actions

The organization developed and executed several initiatives including:

Training - Created a staff performance goal focused on completing two diversity courses, including online courses and/or a Conscious and Unconscious Biases learning series.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) - Encouraged staff to form employee resource groups through a structured grassroots approach. Staff led the launch of three ERGs in 2016, one in 2017, and a fifth one scheduled to launch in the latter part of FY17-18.

Mentoring - Launched with a pilot program in 2015, the mentoring program brings together best practice learning resources and will be shared to ensure development of cultural competencies and professional growth. The annual program includes the traditional one-on-one mentor/mentee approach and group mentoring webinars.

Outcomes

Training: Reached over 85% completion rate in year one, followed by 100% in years two and three. Likewise, the conscious and unconscious bias learning experiences were well received by hundreds of staff members who completed the course online or by facilitated group discussions. The third installment of the series will be delivered to all staff during FY18-19.

ERG: The first four ERGs were launched within an 18-month period. Today we have:

  • H3 Club (Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander) - has helped increase focus on data accuracy and inclusion of the AANHPI community in research of blood pressure, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases impacting the community.
    Hearts with Pride (LGBTQI) - drives awareness opportunities of CVD and stroke at Pride events in about a dozen markets across the nation.
  • Latinx (Hispanic/Latinx) - focuses on exploring partnerships with Latinx health organizations and developing common goals to address health disparities in this community.
  • Heartmasters (Toastmasters International) - brings together staff from all backgrounds interested in improving their public speaking and leadership skills. Heartmasters reprsents a non-traditional approach to affinity groups as it doesn't focus on a specific nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion or any other demographic element or protected category. They support the mission of the organization by, among other things, promoting CPR training and inclusion of cardiovascular disease and stroke topics in speeches.

There are nearly 100 ERG members hailing from all corners of the nation. The fifth ERG_ Heart & Soul (African American) - is scheduled to launch in the latter part of FY17-18. 

Mentoring: We had over 200 participants during the pilot program and an average of 150 participants each year since. The mentoring program has become sustainable, an asset to the organization and is ready to evolve into an even more effective tool for professional and cultural development. We host 6-8 group mentoring webinars each year with well over 200 participants per webinar. 

Contact

Gerald E. Johnson, II: [email protected]

Our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of all people globally is dependent on our commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

Nancy Brown, CEO American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

Get In Touch

Learn more about what organizations are doing to act on diversity and inclusion.

Contact Us