Recruiting Diverse Talent and Gender Strategies at WellSpan Health


Recruit and Retain Diverse Employees, and Address Needs of LGBTQ+ Community through Partnerships and Investments.


Key actions include: reviewing workforce demographic data and developing a strategy among senior leaders to recruit and/or promote diverse executives and board members; establishing committee of WellSpan clinicians, staff and patient partners to identify gaps in the LGBTQ+ care continuum and expand learning opportunities for patient-facing team members; investing in system upgrades and policy updates; creating partnerships with external organizations; and pursuing community sponsorship opportunities promoting diversity, equity and inclusion goals in our service area.


On Jan. 2, 2019, Roxanna Gapstur, PhD, RN, became WellSpan’s first female CEO, and in May 2019, Kim Brister was promoted as the organization’s first leader focused on diversity, equity and inclusion for the organization.  Through their collective leadership, WellSpan has increased minority leadership on its executive team from eight percent to 13 percent and improved its board makeup from 23 to 35 percent women and from zero to 12 percent diverse; established an LGBTQ+ Steering Committee which has led the work to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the organization’s protected classes policy and has designed two new learning resources for patient-facing staff on Providing Affirming Care of our LGBTQ+ patient population. The organization has established relationships with the LGBT Center of Central PA, whose leaders have taken part in organizational curriculum development, and the Rainbow Rose Center of York, PA, which serves as a care continuum referral source. Additionally, WellSpan has extended its reach into its six-county service area in south central Pennsylvania, by sponsoring numerous community events, including FAB 2020 Gala (LGBT Center of Central PA) and York Pride (Rainbow Rose Center), Gettysburg Pride and Hanover Pride, the Community Health Council of Lebanon County’s annual Cultural Diversity Conference, the Central Penn Business Journal’s annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Summit and its Women of Influence Awards, the United Way of York County’s Women United program and most recently the Transforming Health Summer Read, titled “You Belong: A Call for Connection,” by Sebene Selassie.

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