Why Connecticut Children’s is a Welcoming and Inclusive Environment

Connecticut Children’s is taking an important step to ensure team members have a voice in our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work. Our organization has launched a new DEI Advisory Board, which is poised to help shape a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all we work with and care for.

Emily Boushee of Connecticut Children’s Government Affairs team joins our blog to share what the DEI Advisory Board means for patients and for families. 

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Q: Why did Connecticut Children’s decide to launch a DEI Advisory Board?

A: Connecticut Children’s is committed to being a place where all are respected, have a sense of belonging, and are empowered to be the best that we can be in service to our mission and each other. Lawrence Milan, our Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer, developed a DEI Framework for our organization, which includes nine pillars of work outlined in Connecticut Children’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Declaration. I lead one of those pillars, the Governance & Leadership Pillar, and our CEO Jim Shmerling, DHA, FACHE, serves as the pillar’s executive champion. While developing a governance structure for our DEI work, we recognized the tremendous opportunity that a DEI Advisory Board brings in terms of empowering team members and incorporating their thoughts and ideas into our DEI work.

Q: How will the DEI Advisory Board help to improve patient care for children and families?

A: When appointing team members to the DEI Advisory Board, we were thoughtful to select individuals who represent both clinical and non-clinical roles, as well as team members who interact regularly with our patient families. In many of the applications we received, applicants shared their desire to better support our diverse patient families. I am looking forward to learning more from our Advisory Board members regarding what they view as areas for patient care improvement and potential solutions.

Word blocks against a burlap canvas. The word blocks say, "Diversity," "Equity," and "Inclusion," respectively.

Q: What body of work will the DEI Advisory take on?

A: Our vision for this group is that they will help to raise, vet, recommend, and prioritize DEI initiatives within Connecticut Children’s. We know that there were many DEI groups and initiatives already in place long before the formation of this Advisory Board. The DEI Advisory Board is not intended to replace any of those initiatives. Instead, our DEI Advisory Board is going to serve as an additional sounding board or focus group for the organization on DEI issues. .

For more information about our organization’s DEI work, visit our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webpage.

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