As an organization of 15 healthcare institutions and 74,000 employees, it is challenging to bring together leadership from across the Partners system to discuss and engage around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
For the past three years, Partners HealthCare has hosted a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Summit. The summit brings all parts of the organization together for a day of learning and common experience in diversity, equity and inclusion. Utilizing Grand Round lectures, small group discussion and action planning, the summits are an opportunity for attendees to set aside their credentials, put on their learning caps, and interact with a wide range of colleagues, including administrative staff, physicians, hospital Presidents, Partners C-suite, and Board members.
Each year, summit attendance has steadily grown to include live-streaming and satellite sites. In 2019, the summit grew to 468 leaders across the system, with all 15 hospital presidents attending the event. From evaluation data, we found that 98% of attendees rated the quality of the summit as very good or excellent. With one hospital president saying that the summit was “the most inspiring, informative, provocative and meaningful of days I have spent in my 14.5 years at Partners. Today’s Third Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit was the greatest example of the “specialness” of being a part of the finest healthcare system in the United States.”
Leaders are building a common language of DE&I and learning new mental models that address the microaggressions inherent in all organizations. In addition, institution leaders are learning to understand and discuss difficult topics so they can proactively lead with confidence and commitment to DE&I.
At Partners HealthCare, we know that diversity, equity and inclusion make us stronger and are essential to our pursuit of excellence as an integrated health care system. Every day we welcome thousands of patients through our doors, interact with diverse communities we serve, and engage with a multifaceted workforce. The identities and experiences of our patients and staff are from all around the world, and we must proactively support these individual’s rights to thrive within Partners. Embracing this DE&I pledge is an essential act for ALL.