Season’s greetings to everyone! As we prepare to close out 2022 and ring in a new year, I am excited to let you know about the HFMA Board of Directors’ recent decision to launch a task force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). But first, a bit of background.
Earlier this year, Deloitte published an analysis on health inequity, concluding that it is responsible for more than $300 billion in avoidable healthcare expenditure. Financial considerations aside, a successful DEI program is also required for health systems to attract and retain a workforce reflective of their community, effectively provide for the health of the entire community and address health inequity in the United States.
It makes sense that HFMA, as the professional association for healthcare finance leaders, should prioritize this issue. Our Board is committed to providing appropriate governance over the Association that best supports its membership and its broader mission to the industry. This includes our policies and efforts with respect to the three important and distinct components of DEI.
To that end, during our annual retreat, the Board reviewed the results of a recent membership survey in which 93% of respondents said they believe all members, regardless of background and identity, enjoy equitable access to the Association’s resources. The respondents also said HFMA cultivates a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members. We were encouraged by this positive sentiment. We also agreed that adding a qualitative element to our research would enhance our understanding of these quantitative findings.
That is why we’ve just launched a task force that will advise the Board on both its role and the Association’s role in this area. We are specifically interested in what issues the task force believes we should be concerned with as well as what goals, tactics and opportunities should inform and frame HFMA’s DEI program and what barriers in our current structure are preventing progress. We expect the task force will conclude its work in the spring so that next steps can be incorporated in the Association’s 2023-24 annual plan.
Thank you to the following individuals who have agreed to be part of this important work on behalf of HFMA:
- Don Briones, ECG Management, California
- Danielle Gori, Healthfuse, South Carolina
- Marcia Leighton, MC3 Consulting, West Virginia
- Marcus Lewis, Corewell Health, Michigan
- Perla Pace, Optum, California
- Jorge Santiago Medina, Centro Cardiovascular de Puerto Rico y el Caribe, Puerto Rico
- Ben Shah, Olympia Orthopedic Group, Washington
- Sarah Shier, Deloitte Sustainability, Climate and Equity practice, Colorado
- Brian Sims, Maryland Hospital Association, Maryland
- Dwain Stilson, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alaska