How conscious are you of inclusion?
That’s a question set for employees of America’s largest hospital group.
As reported by The Daily Wire — which says it obtained HCA Healthcare internal documents — the for-profit healthcare facilities operator will hold its “annual code of conduct refresher training.”
Part of this year’s curriculum: “Conscious Inclusion” lessons.
HCA’s serious about including everyone — and fighting systemic racism.
From its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page:
In the beginning of 2020, HCA Healthcare launched a comprehensive strategic plan to strengthen our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In light of nationwide events resulting in a heightened focus on systemic racism and social justice, we reinforced our commitment to our colleagues by accelerating program plans and launching new initiatives…
Pivoting Conscious Inclusion training to a virtually facilitated experience to educate more leaders on how to recognize and mitigate different types of unconscious biases and prepare them with practical day-to-day skills and resources to engage and support our colleagues.
“To support our colleagues and communities in response to a heightened focus on racial injustice,” the site says, “HCA Healthcare instituted a provisional social justice match, which supported gifts from our colleagues to organizations and nonprofits supporting racial justice and addressing health equity for communities of color.”
That program went on to “make an impact of $227,364 across 21 total organizations from June 5-July 31, 2020.”
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
- National Urban League
- Black Lives Matter Foundation
Also last June, HCA released a statement on “deep inequities”:
At the Health Care Authority, we know black lives matter, and we are not immune to the pain and struggle we are seeing manifested around the country. We see the deep inequities that exist in the physical and behavioral health care system, and the circumstances in which individuals live, work and play that determine health outcomes.
As for accomplishing social justice, in the medical world, HCA’s certainly not alone.
The American Medical Association has published an “Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity.”
The guide lays out “five strategic approaches”:
- Embed racial and social justice throughout the AMA enterprise culture, systems, policies and practices
- Build alliances and share power with historically marginalized and minoritized* physicians and other stakeholders
- Push upstream to address all determinants of health and the root causes of inequities
- Ensure equitable structures and opportunities in innovation (part of which is “Center, integrate and amplify historically marginalized and Black, Indigenous, Latinx and people of color who are health care investors and innovators”)
- Foster pathways for truth, racial healing, reconciliation and transformation for the AMA’s past
Per the Wire, “45% of HCA employees at the director level or above have already completed Conscious Inclusion training.”
One of HCA’s alleged instructional tools: a card game called “Name That Bias.”
A few excerpts from the New York Times Best-Seller:
The United States was founded on the principle that all people are created equal. … We have yet to achieve our founding principle, but any gains we have made thus far have come through identity politics.
White people raised in Western society are conditioned into a white supremacist worldview because it is the bedrock of our society and its institutions.
[White people] feel the need to defend our character rather than explore the inevitable racial prejudices we have absorbed so that we might change them. In this way, our misunderstanding about what prejudice is protects it.
People of color may also hold prejudices and discriminate against white people, but they lack the social and institutional power that transforms their prejudice and discrimination into racism; the impact of their prejudice on whites is temporary and contextual.
It is white people’s responsibility to be less fragile; people of color don’t need to twist themselves into knots trying to navigate us as painlessly as possible.
So goes Conscious Inclusion.
Hopefully, the training will make patients across the country feel more included.
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