09:20 AM

Children's Mercy honored as 2015 'Champion of Diversity'

Children's Mercy was honored as the Kansas City Chamber's 2015 "Champion of Diversity" at the POWER of Diversity Breakfast on Tuesday, July 28.

The award is presented annually to a business or organization that has made a durable commitment to embracing diversity in their workplace and community.

"The work that Children's Mercy has done in putting together its Office of Equity and Diversity is something that every KC company can emulate," said Jim Heeter, President and CEO of the KC Chamber. "The emphasis that they put on diversity and inclusion - it's intentional, it's personal, and it's authentic."

In 2009, Children's Mercy established a 15-member, interdisciplinary Equity & Diversity Council to guide the direction of the organization relative to health equity, cultural competency, diversity and inclusion.

Since then, CM has created an Equity & Diversity Strategic Framework for the hospital and executed a number of large, system-wide initiatives, including participation in the Human Rights Campaign's Health Equity Index. Earlier this year the regional Human Rights Campaign recognized CM for leadership in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality.

The Strategic Framework also includes workforce diversity and education as primary domains with dedication attention from the hospital. In 2009, CM committed to educating its workforce in a course titled, "Honoring Diversity," and the Equity and Diversity Council is developing a pilot mentoring program, a more robust education model of diversity and inclusion for new-employee orientation, and enhancing local community and international partnerships.

Keynote speaker at the KC Chamber event was Ted Childs, a former IBM executive, who made the business case for diversity, which, as Forbes magazine recently wrote, "…is critical for an organization's ability to innovate and adapt in a fast-changing environment."

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