National D & I Symposium Results in Programs, Policies and Structures
As one of the nation’s largest health care employers, Kindred Healthcare Inc. recognizes the value of diversity and inclusion in maximizing the potential of all its employees, driving business strategy, and enhancing the company’s brand.
“Diversity and inclusion are critical to Kindred because it’s who we are as an organization,” said Stephen R. Cunanan, Kindred’s Chief Administrative Officer and Chief People Officer. “Through diversity and inclusion, through valuing the contributions that our people make, we’re able to provide an environment that is centered on the patient, and focused on quality and the engagement of all our associates,” he added.
Kindred held its first national D & I symposium this year to increase knowledge and awareness. Nearly 400 leaders from around the country and all Kindred divisions gathered to build on the health care employer’s D & I goals. The event was preceded by a regional summit held the previous year that marked the beginning of Kindred’s expansion of its D & I efforts. The company has approximately 102,200 employees providing healthcare services in 2,723 locations across 47 states.
The symposium brought together internal leaders and external speakers to increase knowledge and build critical leadership skills in diversity best practices and inclusion. It further opened pathways for Kindred to put greater emphasis and energies into making diversity and inclusion an integral part of employee recruitment, development, and engagement initiatives.
Developing and Implementing D & I Initiatives
Kindred continues to monitor and build initiatives designed to fulfill the company’s goals that resulted from the symposium. Je’Mone Smith, Divisional Vice President, Field Human Resources and Diversity, works with leaders throughout the company to continually build and implement programs, policies, and structures.
Kindred has identified 12 leaders and created a charter for an Inclusion Council that will convene in 2016 to provide support, advice and counsel to the development of the diversity and inclusion strategy. The company is working on a D & I Report anticipated in 2016 and is developing a system to monitor and track progress toward achieving its goals.
The company’s D& I goals include: Internal leadership maintaining an inclusive environment; company-wide accountability for contributing to an inclusive environment;
ensuring all staff is culturally competent and skilled at serving and caring for the entire community; ensuring the demographics reflect the communities the company services by having diverse leadership at all levels; and being regarded by patients, families, business partners and communities as a leader in ensuring an inclusive culture.
Kindred’s Expansive D & I Initiatives
The symposium was one of many 2015 D & I accomplishments at Kindred. Earlier this year, the company created a video outlining Kindred’s strategy and conducted diversity and inclusion focus groups for all lines of business and all levels of the organization. It also created a diversity and inclusion website, logo, and strategy; established a D & I recognition award; partnered with universities; and continues communicating the importance of diversity and inclusion throughout the organization.