Diversity and Inclusion

There needs to be a world of difference in the health care we provide today. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the country is rapidly becoming more diverse. By 2050, racial and ethnic minority groups are predicted to make up almost half of the population – and with it the immediate need to address cultural differences and health disparities. At Yale New Haven Health, we are working to take a responsive, respectful approach that embraces a broad definition of diversity to build tangible, proactive programs that will lead to healthier outcomes for our patients and a more supportive, productive environment for our employees.

We see that our increasingly diverse communities need healthcare professionals who reflect their different cultural backgrounds, perspectives, values and health. Our Diversity and Inclusion work groups initiate programs that help all of our employees develop a fuller, richer understanding of diversity to enhance the care and services we provide. We also actively recruit diverse talent, because we understand that our patients will connect better with a healthcare professional when they share a similar cultural background.

At Yale New Haven Health, we believe that a team of people with diverse backgrounds can produce better ideas, better service and a genuine competitive advantage. Our dedication to cultural diversity means we concentrate on our shared strengths, unique perspectives and rich interplay of ideas and skills. This enables us to connect with and serve patients from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.

Diversity and Inclusion at Yale New Haven Health

Defining Diversity and Inclusion

We define diversity and inclusion as any difference that sets groups and people apart. Aspects of personal and cultural backgrounds that reflect our community’s diverse expectations, values and communication styles may include:

  • Race, color and ethnicity
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Pregnancy or caregiver status
  • Gender identity and expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Religion, ancestry or national origin
  • Citizenship status
  • Marital status
  • Genetic information
  • Veteran status
  • Political affiliation
  • Socioeconomic status 

Leveraging Diversity

YNHHS has created a system-wide Diversity & Inclusion strategy through formation of a Health System executive Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Diversity & Inclusion teams at each health care delivery network. The work of these teams involve helping to create an inclusive and supportive environment that embraces the diversity of our employees, patients/families, physicians, visitors and community. The teams are committed to identifying and weaving key diversity principles into day-to-day operations, promoting an understanding of unconscious bias and to foster conscious inclusion. Their work is to help leverage diversity and inclusion. By actively leveraging our diverse personal and cultural backgrounds, Yale New Haven Health is establishing a supportive culture that better enables us to:

  • Enhance our ability to understand and serve our diverse patient population.
  • Attract and retain a quality workforce that brings a wide range of thoughts, ideas and perspectives and is reflective of our patients and community.
  • Position Yale New Haven Health as a leader in diversity and inclusion in the communities we serve.
  • Increase the creativity, quality, teamwork and innovation that come from exploring our differences.
  • Align with Magnet Recognition through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the Joint Commission and other regulatory agencies related to diversity and cultural competence.

Diversity and Inclusion Education and Training

At Yale New Haven Health, employees are encouraged to participate in training and education activities that help grow personally and professionally and better serve patients regardless of background. Examples include:

Career Development
At Yale New Haven Health, we recognize the importance of investing in training and education opportunities for all employees. Employees have access to online and in person career counseling services, which can outline plans for advancement in your chosen field and help those who are interested in advanced education. Our Institute for Excellence develops leadership talent through dynamic learning experiences, including courses in communication, conflict management and valuing differences. Staff also have an opportunity to participate in an on-site School at Work program, which gives employees an opportunity to refresh or develop skills and to be better prepared as they pursue their formal education.

Culturally Competent Care Training
This year-long program for recently hired nurses helps them navigate effective communications between physicians, patients and other staff regardless of personal and cultural background.

Diversity and Inclusion Training
Staff are introduced to our commitment to diversity and inclusion, cultural competence and linguistic competence during New Employee Orientation, and are required to annually complete online modules related to overcoming barriers to communication and understanding diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Health Equity Index Leader Status
Bridgeport Hospital, Yale New Haven Hospital and Greenwich Hospital have been awarded Leader status by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for meeting all of the Core Four criteria for LGBT patient-centered care in the Healthcare Equality Index. A Requirement to maintaining Leadership status, participating facilities must provide, inform and have key facility employees receive expert training in LGBT patient-centered care. 
Diversity and Inclusion Awareness
Diversity and Inclusion Committee members are encouraged to research, create and present ideas as part of the continuing education and awareness around diversity and inclusion. For example, posters on diversity topics are created monthly by Bridgeport Hospital Diversity and Inclusion committee members, which are then presented at leadership meetings and displayed for all staff.

Supplier Diversity

Yale New Haven Health strives to provide opportunity to qualified business, including those owned by small, minority, women, local, veteran and service-disabled veterans. We proactively identify minority-owned businesses and offer them a chance to compete with other suppliers. We welcome the opportunity to build strong, rewarding relationships with high-quality diverse suppliers and service providers in our communities.