Lee Health’s Innovative 4C Diversity Model – Diversity as Part of the Cure
They compete for talent, consumers and market share while delivering excellence (in patient care). They contribute to healthy lifestyles and an overall healthy community. They are the 2nd highest ranked in Florida. The 9th highest ranked provider and 58 on the list of 250 organizations in this competitive arena.
Do you know this organization?
Forbes recognized Lee Health as One of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. They join some of the largest and most recognizable companies, including Coca-Cola, Apple, Amazon.com and Walt Disney, on the 2018 list.
Why is this significant?
It may be easy to declare that your organization is committed to diversity and ‘doing the right thing’, but doing everything right is difficult. In Healthcare, the role of diversity and inclusion continues to evolve and in many organizations it is still in its infancy with limited focus and dedicated resources. As thought leader Josh Bersin points out, it should not be viewed as an HR owned program but an integrated strategy and collaboration with the business leaders on organization-wide initiatives, policies and systems impacting the workplace and marketplace. A strong HR Leader will cultivate strong partnerships with A Patient-Care Executive/Chief Nursing Officer to drive value and support the transformation of health care.
How does a health care system ensure patients and families feel their needs are understood, are partners in their care and are treated with compassion and respect? How do health care systems ensure employees feel they belong, are valued, empowered and inspired to do their very best work?
It takes flexibility, planning and a framework to focus efforts. The efforts to create a sustainable environment of the highest quality of care for patients, demands that organization incorporate cultural competence or responsiveness in each encounter for its patients and employees. I spoke to Chief HR Executive Michael Wukitsch and he believes that training will play a big part within the operation as cultural competence will make the difference. Recruiting and retaining diverse talent will also be key as the focus on the Patient Experience with changing demographics continues (led by Lisa Sgarlata, Chief Patient Care Officer and Nursing Executive). According to Michael, rethinking the care model while maintaining a quality patient experience will be critical.
From Strategy to Execution
What do leading organizations do that are “driven to do the right thing and determined to do things right?” They start with a vision, align with their values, and execute action plans to close performance gaps. They deliver results from theory into daily practice demonstrating the transition from strategy to execution.
A tool to transition from idea to action for sustainability is a diversity framework. Lee Health has a 4C Diversity Framework for its key initiatives to articulate success measures and operationalize the vision. A framework helps to keep all stakeholders, employees and allies focused on the path forward to achieve performance goals and create memorable experiences for all.
The 4C Diversity Model
Lee Health has more than 1 million patient contacts each year with a staff of 14,500 employees and over 4,000 volunteers. They put diversity and inclusion into daily practice using the 4 C model. The 4C key elements cultivates an inclusive environment serving Lee Health patients, employees, partners and improves health outcomes for the community.
DiverseLee initiatives are centered on the 4C Model:
- Caring People: At Lee Health attracting, developing and retaining diverse talent is central. Creating an environment of inclusion where our patients and staff are treated with respect regardless of their race/ethnicity, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, national origin, military status, disability, sexual orientation (including gender identity or expression), or any other protected category defined by law.
- Patient Care: Providing culturally competent patient care that is equitable. Overseeing programs and initiatives that help to serve our Limited English Proficient, ADA (American with Disabilities Act), Health Literacy, and other diverse patient populations and needs.
- Community Outreach: Promoting diversity and cultural competence initiatives throughout the organization and community through training and awareness programs, professional development. Working together with our community partners through a collective vision for the benefit of the community.
- Corporate Social Responsibility: Lee Health’s continued commitment to improving the health of the community through diverse efforts and initiatives.
The 4C Model in Action
An example of 4C in action is in the recent video that tells the story of a Graves’ disease patient’s participation in a Lee Health Community Care Outreach Program. It‘s designed to help connect uninsured or under-insured members of the community to solutions for their health care needs. It also represents all 4 pillars of the model illustrating the values, mission and vision through 1) Caring People, 2) Patient Care, 3) Community Outreach and 4) Corporate Social Responsibility.
Other initiatives include Workforce Development Youth Programs to grow the Talent Pipeline, Supplier Diversity and Patient Care Experience -Translation Services.
Since the opening of its first hospital in 1916, Lee Memorial Health System has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, serving the needs of their community. Today, it is a non-profit, integrated health care services organization committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health.
More Diversity Honors
Lee Health was also honored in 2018 as One of the Best Employers for Women by Forbes as they identified companies and organizations that support women in areas that are important to them, such as pay equity, opportunities for advancement, and family leave.
In this inaugural Forbes survey, respondents rated their organizations on factors such as working conditions, diversity and whether they’d recommend their employer to others. Results were reviewed for potential gender gaps. If women, for example, rated their organization poorly on diversity, but men rated it highly, the company’s score would be adjusted accordingly. Some organizations struggle with supporting women in the workforce but many are getting it right. Healthcare is unique in that its workforce it predominantly female, making this a significant accomplishment for recruiting and retaining Lee Health talent.
High Performance and The Path Forward
Further proof of Lee Health‘s high performance is in Lee Memorial Hospital and HealthPark Medical Center’s earned recognition as a 2018 Best Regional Hospital, ranking #12 in Florida out of 250 hospitals evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It takes more than ‘know how’, it requires vision, insight, values, determination and ongoing feedback. A diversity framework helps align action steps and measure progress.
As communities become more diverse, they require greater interpersonal capabilities to deliver better outcomes. One of Lee Health’s values is Compassion:
“We care for your family like our own. We truly embody, “caring people, inspiring health.”
One thing is certain, diversity and inclusion requires commitment, and is enabled with a framework to define the challenge, reinforce the vision, values and guide leaders to take action to achieve results, with confidence, knowing the path forward.