Cone Health Planning Mentorship Program to Improve Diversity

GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) – Cone Health is strengthening its commitment to ensuring its staff resembles the community it serves.

The health system wants to improve this visibility, especially among men from minorities.

About 27% of Cone Health leadership positions, from supervisor to CEO, are held by men of color.

“Which isn’t bad at all; however, we want to make sure that we pay attention to this and are intentional about this because our goal is to have a balanced organization,” said the Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and of inclusion, Kiva Elliott.

Elliott is part of the team developing a mentorship program for men of color who work at Cone Health in a variety of leadership roles, including in non-clinical departments such as supply chain management, finance and human resources.

“Looking at where they are, their promotion rates, all those things and just looking at the data and saying, ‘What more could we do and why aren’t we making progress on this? “”

The goal of the mentorship program is to retain diverse talent.

Meanwhile, the vice president of clinical care for health equity, Dr. Alvin Powell, is focusing his efforts on recruiting.

“There were about 545 African American men entering medical school my year, and 36 years later, I think there are about 515 entering medical school. It dropped significantly,” Powell said.

One recruiting strategy is to allow potential employees to meet someone from a specific background during the interview process.

This is expected to help applicants feel welcomed into the culture of the healthcare system.

Leaders say improving diversity will ultimately have a positive impact on patients.

“Cultural competence, cultural humility, acknowledgment and understanding of a person’s perspective and purpose, where they are from and how they think about health care in the history and legacy of mistrust, all of those things are important,” Powell said.

There is no specific timeline for the start of the mentoring program, as it is still in the planning phase.

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