Diversity is one of the most foremost foundations of quality healthcare. Diversity does not happen by wishful thinking or symbolic gestures. It requires a sustained, focused, and informed effort to embed inclusion and equity as organizational values and practice. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office is dedicated to operationalizing Rochester Regional Health's unequivocal commitment to enabling every member of the communities we serve to enjoy a better, healthier life and ensuring that as an organization, we embrace diversity in all its forms–racial, ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, and more.
– Deborah Stamps, Ed.D, MBA, MS, RN, GNO, NE-BC
Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Rochester Regional Health’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office launched in 2020 to build on and operationalize our unequivocal commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. By establishing and maintaining community partnerships, RRH is leading efforts to cultivate an equitable and inclusive environment and deliver high-quality patient outcomes and experiences. We are committed to ensuring that our teams and each patient we care for enjoys better, healthier lives.
The work of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office is underpinned by our four focus areas (pillars) – patients, employees, community, and data. Supported by these pillars, we will be able to make lasting changes within our organization and community.
As we work together to make our health system and community more inclusive, it’s important to keep some key terms and definitions in mind.
Diversity is the presence of individual and group/social differences. Diversity goes beyond simple demographics, and incorporates a wide-range of factors that make us who we are. These factors can include (but are not limited to) age, sexual orientation, abilities, gender identity, ethnicity, race, and sex.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at RRH continuously evaluates how we can best support our diverse group of employees and the communities we serve.
Equity is creating opportunities for and giving equal access to underrepresented groups. Equity is different from equality (even though they look and sound similar). Equity means focusing on individual needs and acknowledging that everyone has different backgrounds, experiences, and opportunities.
Equity is achieved by embracing diversity in all its forms—racial, ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, and more. This translates to active recruitment, meaningful inclusion, and opportunities for professional development. Equity is acknowledging and addressing forces of structural racism that lead to health disparities and limit access to opportunities.
Inclusion is the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity. An organization can be diverse without being inclusive because inclusion is an intentional decision.
Inclusion is also about actions. When we embrace a diverse workforce and community, we’re acknowledging and accepting that differences exist. Inclusion takes the next step and asks employees, patients, and the community if they feel accepted. Inclusion is not a natural consequence of diversity–it is something we need to work for. It is a sense of belonging.
Health literacy is the degree to which people have the capacity to learn, process, and understand basic health information and services. That is why we have developed plans to address Public Health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic by leveraging resources to develop innovative strategies and lead regional efforts to reduce health care disparities.
Cultural humility is a humble and respectful attitude towards individuals of other cultures, and the realization that we cannot possibly know everything about other cultures. Cultural humility is a lifelong goal and process, one that we are embracing at Rochester Regional each and every day.
As our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts grow, we look forward to keeping our community up-to-date. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [email protected]