Diversity In Depth

Our Vision

Our vision is to develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan that will position UAB Medicine as the academic medical center of choice for patients, employees, and students. We are committed to integrating goals and priorities among all entities, capitalizing on our strengths and synergies, and ensuring a cohesive, consistent culture of inclusion.

UAB Medicine strives to ensure optimal, culturally responsive health care for all patients by respecting and responding to their cultural differences, preferences, religious beliefs, and privacy. This helps us improve the quality of care and outcomes for the diverse populations throughout the communities we serve. In order to continue building upon a foundation of excellence, we will introduce cultural and communication strategies that foster greater respect and understanding in the delivery of culturally competent care.

Mission & Core Values

UAB Medicine’s mission is to deliver world-class patient care to the residents of Alabama and beyond, advance medical science through pioneering research, and train the sharpest medical minds. We are deeply committed to a patient- and family-centric approach to providing care, so we strive to make every patient encounter a positive one. This dedication to excellence is what makes UAB Medicine a preferred provider of care and helps us attract the best and brightest staff while setting the highest standards for medical innovation and education.

UAB Medicine is committed to providing quality health care and compassionate service to every patient, every time, regardless of individual differences or circumstances. Our academic medical center attracts patients from across the world who represent many cultures, religions, lifestyles, and economic backgrounds, so diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of the atmosphere we strive to maintain. For this and many other reasons, UAB Medicine established the following Core Values, which we instill in our employees as part of our relentless pursuit of excellence:               

  • Own It: Be accountable, take action, and make it happen.
  • Do Right: Follow through, work with principles, and do no harm.
  • Always Care: Listen with empathy, be compassionate, and support those in need.
  • Work Together: Think win-win, build consensus, and play your role on the team.

Learn more about UAB Medicine’s commitment to excellence.

Get the Facts

TERMINOLOGY

Inclusion: The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can feel welcome, respected, supported, and valued. Having a climate that embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions.

Diversity: Ensure that our workforce and patient population are reflective of our communities. This refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and world views that arise from differences in race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and more.

Equity: The guarantee of fair and just treatment of everyone who enters our doors. Striving to increase health equity and eliminate health disparities.

Cultural Competence: The ability to provide care to patients with diverse values, beliefs, and behaviors, including tailoring the delivery of health care to meet patients’ social, cultural, and linguistic needs.

 

BENEFITS OF BECOMING A CULTURALLY COMPETENT HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATION

Social Benefits

  • Increases mutual respect and understanding between patient and organization
  • Increases trust
  • Promotes inclusion of all community members
  • Increases community participation and involvement in health issues
  • Assists patients and families in their care
  • Promotes patient and family responsibility for health
  • Training/teaching the next generation of health care providers

Health Benefits

  • Improves patient data collection
  • Increases preventive care by patients
  • Reduces care disparities in the patient population
  • Increases cost savings through reductions in medical errors, number of treatments, and legal expenses
  • Reduces the number of missed medical visits
  • Enhances patient care

Business Benefits

  • Incorporates different perspectives, ideas, and strategies into decision-making processes
  • Decreases barriers that slow progress
  • Increases focus on meeting legal and regulatory requirements
  • Improves efficiency of care
  • Helps attract and retain the best employees
  • Strengthens our position and reputation as a health care provider
  • Reduces costs associated with discrimination, harassment, and ignoring diversity issues

 

CURRENT TRENDS

Religious Diversity: Religious diversity, a topic that many organizations shy away from putting on the diversity agenda, will gain more significance. While religious diversity is not a new concept, and organizations are required to comply with laws requiring religious accommodations, religious minorities became more visible and vocal in the United States in 2012.

Make an Impact

Employee resource groups (ERGs) are groups of employees who join together in their workplace based on shared characteristics or life experiences. ERGs are generally based on providing support, enhancing career development, and contributing to personal growth in the work environment.

International Employee Resource Group

The goal of the International Employee Resource Group is to help foreign staff better understand American and UAB cultures by getting them involved. Currently the group has a focus on Chinese staff members, with a goal to expand to other international groups. It aims to share information among various departments, labs, and divisions while providing more collaboration opportunities. The group also seeks to build a bridge of communication between foreign staff and the UAB leadership team. To get involved, interested parties can reach out to Sharon Tang (stang@uab.edu).

Dean’s Council for Graduate Medical Education (DCGME) Subcommittee for Diversity and Inclusion

The GME Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee seeks to increase opportunities and recruitment of highly competitive resident and fellow candidates of diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, as well as promote an environment that allows them to thrive and accomplish their goals. The GME Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee reports to the Dean’s Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Residents/fellows can participate in our group by contacting the GME Office at gme@uabmc.edu to express interest in joining the subcommittee. Members of the subcommittee participate by planning and supporting the GME Strategic Plan for Diversity & Inclusion, the Second Look Weekend/School of Medicine Diversity Day, and Welcome Reception.

Growth, Resources, & Outreach for Women (GROW)

Growth, Resources, & Outreach for Women (GROW) is committed to providing a safe venue for UAB’s female professionals to discuss issues related to women in the workplace and implement strategies to improve workplace satisfaction. It strives to help women grow and develop in their careers and personal lives by providing opportunities to become involved in activities that will strengthen them and others in the workplace. Its primary purpose is to implement leadership development through education, mentoring and networking, so that women can become positive, powerful change agents in the workplace. GROW plans to provide quarterly education related to issues and practices that affect women at UABHS. The group also will propose initiatives to ensure that UABHS equitably serves the needs of its women employees and partner with the Women’s Leadership Conference mentoring programs. Employees who wish to participate can contact Deborah Grimes at dgrimes@uabmc.edu  or Laura Kowalczyk at lpkowalczyk@uabmc.edu.

Young Professionals Affinity Group

The goal of the Young Professionals Affinity Group is to serve UAB’s young professionals so that they see it as an organization where their purpose can be fulfilled and where they can happily remain for their entire career. The group is for professionals at any UAB entity who are looking for development opportunities and consider themselves to be early in their career or early in their UAB career. There is no age limit for those interested in participating. To get involved or learn more, contact Andy Clark at aaclark@uabmc.edu or Erin Yarbrough at emsnow@uabmc.edu.

National Association of Health Services Executives Birmingham Regional Chapter (NAHSE BRC)

The NAHSE Birmingham Regional Chapter’s members are comprised of health care professionals who are leaders and experts in their respective areas. These leaders are employed by various health care organizations in the greater Birmingham metropolitan area, including UAB Medicine, UAB West, Cooper Green Mercy Health Services, Encompass Health, and Huntsville Hospital. Its goal is to create a climate in which diverse health care leaders can promote education, community service, and leadership development by leveraging local/national networks to establish an ongoing commitment that supports equitable care for all. To get involved, employees can contact Mona Jackson at mbjackso@uabmc.edu or visit the chapter’s website at nahsebrc.com.

Retro Professional Employee Resource Group

The purpose of the Retro Professional Employee Resource Group is to provide a resource for mature professionals employed by UAB Medicine. The group’s goal is to create a venue to discuss and implement strategies to improve employee satisfaction for these leaders in the workplace. It aims to create mentoring and networking opportunities and plan educational sessions on topics in which employees show an interest. To learn more, contact Jennie Craft at jcraft@uabmc.edu.

Veteran, Active Military Friends and Family Resource Group

The Veteran, Active Military Friends and Family Resource Group provides support for UAB employees, faculty, patients, and loved ones. It is committed to supporting the specific needs of those affiliated with the military. The group offers assistance to both employees and patients related to veterans’ health, education, and benefit resources; HR and employment resources; counseling resources; and social/community resources. To learn more, contact Jessica Zeller at jzeller@uabmc.edu.

LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Advisory Group

UAB Medicine is committed to valuing diversity and inclusion through the equitable treatment of our patients, employees, and the wider community. The LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Advisory Group was established for the primary purpose of providing a forum to discuss and address issues related to the LGBTQ community and to offer meaningful solutions that are equitable and inclusive. To learn more, contact Dawson Smith at wssmith@uabmc.edu.

Disabilities Resource Group

The goal of the UAB Medicine Disabilities Resource Group is to provide resources for both employees with disabilities as well as those employees who care for family or friends with disabilities. The group will also support disability awareness activities to enhance the work environment so that employees with disabilities can thrive. All interested employees are welcome. To learn more, contact Sherri Moultrie at srmoult@uab.edu or Constance Tolbert at chtolbert@uabmc.edu.