NAACP grades 6 large health systems for diversity efforts

There are key areas where the healthcare industry can improve diversity — including positions of leadership and contracting with minority-owned businesses — according to a recent NAACP report.

The NAACP released its Opportunity & Diversity Report Card on the healthcare industry, the third in a series of economic healthcare reports on corporate diversity and inclusion.

In the report, the NAACP graded the six largest healthcare systems in the country to assess the diversity of the workforce and supply chains of each, highlighted below.

  • Ascension Health (St. Louis) — C
  • Catholic Health Initiatives (Englewood, Colo.) — C
  • Community Health Systems (Franklin, Tenn.) — F
  • Dignity Health (San Francisco) — B
  • Hospital Corporation of America (Nashville, Tenn.)— D-
  • Tenet Healthcare (Dallas) — C-

According to the report, there are three major challenges to increasing diversity in the healthcare industry:

1. Despite a long history of diversity in healthcare areas related to patient care, diversification in upper management positions continues to be a challenge.

2. As hospitals and health systems face pressure to reduce costs through automation, critical pathways to skilled and leadership employment opportunities may be closed off to diverse candidates.

3. Monitoring diversity procurement is lacking or "rudimentary" at best, and a blind spot in the healthcare industry that is more pronounced than in any other industry the NAACP has surveyed thus far.

Despite the hurtles that exist, NAACP President and CEO Cornell Williams Brooks, JD, remains optimistic that the healthcare industry can be a leader in creating equal opportunities and reversing the tide of economic inequality.

"The healthcare industry will add nearly five million jobs with living wages and wealth generating opportunities over the next decade," said Mr. Brooks. "The NAACP is excited to partner with the leading healthcare systems in connecting more communities of color to these opportunities and moving our nation towards achieving economic parity."



More articles on diversity and disparities:
Poor, minority patients access patient portals less frequently
Clinical decisions unaffected by unconscious racial, social class biases, survey finds
Study: Integrated care may eliminate racial disparity in cancer survival


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