Diversity and Inclusion defined at Community Medical Center

Why Diversity and Inclusion?

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 healthcare 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:


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+.


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.

G.E.L. is an acronym that stands for generational engagement in leadership for five plus generations in our workforce. This group is actively helping to raise awareness related to working with all five generations effectively and providing generationally sensitive patient-centered care.


E.P.N. is an acronym that stands for emerging professionals’ network. This group is actively helping to raise awareness related to providing career development and skill building opportunities for the employees to enhance skills and to prepare for career growth within CMC or RWJBH.


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:

Ashley Chiappano Riker
Ashley Chiappano Riker, MS
Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Community Medical Center

Patient Stories

  • "[The lump] scared the daylights out of me."

    Read More
  • “I can do whatever I feel like doing now,” Joseph says. “I got a fresh start.”

    Read More
  • Rehabilitation at Community Medical Center helped one man return to work after battling coronavirus. Learn more about COVID recovery and rehabilitation

    Read More

Patient Stories

  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial