Diversity and Inclusion Defined at Community Medical Center

Why Diversity and Inclusion?

Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader ReAL and SOGI

Diversity and Inclusion are an important part of a well-rounded hospital. Our staff and Leadership need to represent and reflect our community and in doing so, Community Medical Center (CMC) will provide better, more appropriate health care delivery and services.

Key Definitions

Diversity is about bringing together all backgrounds, beliefs and experiences. Every person—whether an employee, a physician, a supplier or a patient—has a unique perspective and can provide potential ideas, solutions and strategies that can help advance the overall health of the people of New Jersey.

Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of certain groups through institutions or systems.

Inclusion is about creating a sense of belonging, by consciously inviting, welcoming, respecting and engaging each other without bias. By intentionally embracing an expansive set of attitudes, attributes, cultures and skills throughout our health care system, we are creating a culture where everyone is valued and treated with respect and dignity. Inclusion is an important part of how we harness the power of diversity.

Cultural Humility is being aware of our deficient knowledge having a humble and respectful attitude toward individuals and other cultures. It is the idea of adopting a growth mindset to continuously learn from others as we treat others how they want to be treated.

Unconscious Biases also known as Implicit Biases, are the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Everyone possesses those biases.

Health Equity is to remove barriers deterring one to reach their full health potential. At RWJBarnabas Health, we continue to take a comprehensive and strategic approach to address health disparities in our communities. As one of the largest employers and a major economic engine in communities across the state, we believe it is our responsibility to play a major role in improving health outcomes for underserved communities across New Jersey. Our goal is to improve the health of the communities that we serve, improve the experience of our patients while reducing cost per capita.

Cultivating Cultural Competency:

Our goal is to create an environment free of harm, focused on quality care resulting in helpful equitable outcomes in a mutually respectfully and courteous manner for all.

Workforce Optimization in Action:

We will achieve this goal in collaboration with our Board of Trustees, Hospital Leadership, Physicians and Staff. Building a culture of mutual respect for everyone is a strategic pillar intersecting with our high reliability organization (HRO) journey. We are committed to ensuring all colleagues, patients, patient family members and business associate interactions result in positive, harmless, helpful, inclusive and respectful experiences. Our ability to become a culturally competent health care provider depends on our success in fostering this cultural shift.

Operationalizing Diversity and Inclusion: Employee Engagement

Employee engagement began with cultural awareness; August of 2017, RWJBH began cultural awareness training with computer based learning. This was an initial system wide educational requirement that continues for new hires today. CMC formed a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) committee around the same time to continue with education related to different cultural events. In February 2018, CMC established the Office of D&I and hired a Director of D&I to deploy focused leadership and accountability for developing and deploying strategic plan for CMC to achieve cultural competency.

The CMC Office of D&I (CMCODI), in collaboration with the Corporate Office of D&I (CODI), developed a strategic D&I goals for 2018 and beyond. The following is a list of the goals that the CMCODI is working to achieve.

Continue to deliver cultural awareness, knowledge, sensitivity and competency training for all leadership, physicians, and employees. CMC will establish business resource groups (BRGs) that will work to identify opportunities to enhance workforce and patient experiences while working at or visiting our facilities. The BRGs are described as follows:

Business Resource Groups

BEN - Black Employee Network for Professional Growth

B.E.N. is an acronym for Black Employee Network for Professional Growth. The BEN BRG is focused on providing support and resources and increasing cultural sensitivity at CMC for Black employees and patients.

CARE - Cultural Advocacy and Respect for Everyone

C.A.R.E. is an acronym that stands for cultural Advocacy and Respect for Everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, abilities, or religion. This group is actively helping to raise awareness related to workplace and patient sensitivity to ensure our ability to create and sustain a welcoming and safe environment for all people we work with and serve.

PROUD - Promoting Respect, Outreach, Understanding, and Dignity

P.R.O.U.D. is an acronym that stands for Promoting Respect, Outreach, Understanding and Dignity for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Plus community. Members either identity or support the LGBTQ+ community. This group is actively helping to raise awareness related to workplace and patient sensitivity for those who identify as LGBTQ+.

SALUD - Service and Advocacy for Latinos United for Development

S.A.L.U.D. stands for Service and Advocacy for Latinos United for Development. By providing outreach and advocacy throughout Community Medical Center and communities in Ocean County, SALUD aims to succeed in delivering inclusive patient care for Latino patients, advocate and create awareness for health issues that exist among the Latino population, cultivate community relationships through collaboration to minimize health disparities that exist among the Latino population, and serve as a resource and visible asset for equal communication and education of employee benefits and issues affecting Latino employees at Community Medical Center.

VETS - Veterans Engaging through Service

V.E.T.S. is an acronym that stands for veterans engaging through service. This group is actively helping to raise awareness in the workplace and in patient-care about the sensitivities related to veterans’ and to honor and acknowledges them for their service to our country.

For more information or questions, please contact:

Karen Rawls, RN
Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Community Medical Center

Patient Stories

  • The group and its leader, certified tobacco treatment specialist Mariana Gomez, didn’t judge. “They were all so supportive”

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  • "I tell him he’s Superman and he can do no wrong,” Brian says. "It’s such a great gesture that it’s hard to put into words and say something that would do it justice."

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  • “That medical staff in the ICU was amazing – they definitely went above and beyond.”

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Patient Stories

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