Norton Healthcare doubles down on inclusion strategy

Diversity and inclusion help staff have great human interactions with patients and community

“Respect every person” is one of Norton Healthcare’s values, the foundation for how our organization conducts itself as we provide care for our patients and create a positive culture for our employees. Our diversity and inclusion department is leading the charge to ensure that value is put into action.

“Respect is a human expectation,” said Jorge De La Jara, system director, inclusion and diversity, Norton Healthcare. “As a patient, you expect to enter a healing environment that is supportive and empathetic. As an employee, you expect a workplace that is welcoming and accepting. Our team is determined to make these expectations reality.”

The diversity and inclusion team welcomed two new program managers in 2017 as Norton Healthcare doubled down on its inclusion strategy. In their brief tenure, Tamekka Cornelius and Michele L. Shelton already have made their mark.

As part of Tamekka’s role, she was an organizational ally in supporting Norton Healthcare’s efforts to earn the selective “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Tamekka has partnered with employee resource groups (ERGs) to build a platform for change across the organization.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the ERG leaders and members to advance inclusion and diversity through engaging programs, events and educational opportunities for all employees,” Tamekka said.

Michele has made great strides in forming community relationships that help to strengthen the organization’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.

“Norton Healthcare is committed to serving the community beyond our doors,” Michele said.

According to Jorge, providing culturally competent, patient-centered care is part of creating great human interactions.

“Employees must have the right combination of knowledge, attitudes and skills,” Jorge said. “When we have great human interactions, it is because we’ve done our jobs well. We understand the needs of our patients and their families; we understand their values and do not make assumptions. When we provide culturally competent care, we create a remarkable patient experience.”

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