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Nursing DEIB Symposium Emphasizes the Role of Equity in Excellence

On March 26, Yale New Haven Hospital held its first Nursing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Symposium, with the theme “Health Equity Through the Nursing Lens: Creating the Path to Change.”

Ena Williams, RN, PhD, YNHH chief nursing officer, and Katherine Heilpern, MD, YNHH president, welcomed the more than 200 attendees. Dr. Heilpern, who joined the hospital March 11, noted that the symposium was her first official YNHH event.

“What an incredible way for me to start my tenure,” she said. “I’m so proud to be part of an organization that is engaging in this work.”

Nursing DEIB task force co-chairs Alienne Salleroli, RN, and Shante Teel-Williams, RN, provided a brief overview of the task force and its work, under the leadership of Katherine Tucker, RN, DNP. They shared data about the racial and ethnic makeup of YNHH nurses and nursing leaders, noting that there is “work to be done” to increase diversity in both.

“This is a global issue,” Salleroli said. “In order to make changes globally you have to make changes locally.”

Beverly Malone, RN, PhD, National League for Nursing (NLN) president and CEO, and Maria Krol, DNP, chairperson of the Southern Connecticut State University School of Nursing, were guest speakers.

Malone likened the pursuit of DEIB to a journey that requires a guiding “north star” such as a mission and values. She discussed how the NLN’s values – caring, diversity and inclusion, integrity and excellence – guide the work of nurses and the organization.

“You’re looking for transformation,” she said, quoting the NLN’s excellence value. “You are ‘co-creating and implementing transformative strategies with daring ingenuity.’”

Malone and Krol also joined a panel discussion, led by Tucker, that included nurses and leaders from YNHH, Yale New Haven Health and Yale School of Nursing. Throughout the day, symposium attendees had the opportunity to view posters depicting the work of YNHH nurses in addressing DEIB. During the afternoon, attendees participated in tabletop discussions about the role of nurses in DEIB in patient care, research, workforce and the community, and awards were presented for DEIB research abstracts/posters.

Thank you to everyone who made the first Nursing DEIB Symposium a success.