4 strategies to help healthcare boards reach diversity goals 

Despite good intentions, many healthcare boards are still far behind their goals for diversity, equity and inclusion, according to a new report from The Health Management Academy and WittKieffer published Jan. 11. 

Executives from 25 leading health systems were interviewed for the report. The authors found that while 78 percent of health systems have health equity strategies, only 3 percent of boards have members with health equity expertise. The report laid out challenges preventing boards from meeting their goals, including outdated policies, broad definitions and goals for diversity, legacy practices and external factors such as competition.

 Here are four strategies identified in the report to help bridge the gap between goals and reality:

  1. Clearly define diversity goals and intentions to streamline the recruitment strategy. This includes setting timelines and developing clear metrics for progress.

  2. Expand the search process for new members beyond personal and local networks and leverage community connections for recommendations. Consider the use of a recruitment firm to find specific talent. 

  3. Consider updating board policies to free up seats for new members. Creating more stringent term limits and age limits and offering compensation for members may help.

  4. Provide board members with ongoing training on health equity and health disparities.

Read the full report here.

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