Oct 22, 2021 - Business

Health Care Council pushes to improve diversity

A moving illustration of a healthcare sign transforming into inequality.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Nashville Health Care Council this week announced a call to action in hopes of improving diversity, equity and inclusion within the industry.

Why it matters: Health care is Nashville's largest economic engine, but over the last year there has been a recognition within the industry that it needs to increase opportunities for underrepresented people.

  • Improving diversity, equity and inclusion has been a priority for the NHCC over the past year. The council formed task forces and developed an action plan to boost industry diversity.
  • To move forward, the council launched initiatives to track gender and ethnicity data among local health care companies. The council also audited its own venue and vendor selection process in an effort to boost partnerships with organizations that support underserved groups.

What they're saying: The NHCC's board of directors, which represent some of the nation's largest and most influential health care companies, on Wednesday issued a joint statement spelling out its commitments. The group said the goal is to do more than improve diversity in Nashville's health care industry, but also across the country.

  • 'We are committed to creating accessible leadership opportunities for underrepresented groups that advance DEI in the companies we lead," the board said. "Ultimately, our leadership should reflect the communities we serve."
  • “We want to address and drive progress on the issues that matter not just in the Nashville health care ecosystem but across the nation," said Bobby Frist, NHCC board member and CEO, president and chairman of Nashville-based HealthStream.

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