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The Children's Hospital Diversity and Cultural Competency Council (DCCC) led by Michelle Gordon-Seemore, Director of Staffing, and Valerie Ward, MD, MPH, under the guidance of the Executive Steering Committee, is charged with recommending and implementing changes to ensure culturally competent care to a diverse patient population, as well as to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.
Among their may accomplishments include the development of new community initiatives to recruit qualified employees, the selection of outstanding diverse employees to participate in professional development programs, and the implementation of cultural competency training. The roughly 35 employees on the DCCC Council come from all levels of the organization-managers, VPs and front-line employees alike.
The Executive Steering Committee includes:
Faculty and staff on the DCCC Council divided themselves into five working groups.
Eva Gomez, RN, MSN is a specialist dedicated to diversity and cultural competency issues at Boston Children's. Gomez joined Children's in 2007 as a staff development specialist charged with developing cultural competence education for the Nursing Department. Her cultural competence curriculum is used in nursing classes and in simulated learning exercises. Gomez also teaches new nurses how to deliver culturally competent care.
Faculty and staff on the DCCC Council divide themselves into 5 working groups:
The Research Working Group is committed to promoting research in health care disparities. They are also planning to develop improved measurement tools, in addition to the Picker Inpatient Survey (a questionnaire designed to focus on specific dimensions of patients' experiences) to assess inpatient satisfaction at CHB as it relates to issues important to diverse populations.
The Tracking Metrics Working Group has reviewed comprehensive quality reports and surveys to ensure there are no significant differences based on race/ethnicity or insurance in terms of nursing core metrics, the Picker Survey, the PPSQ-Program for Patient Safety and Quality Ambulatory satisfaction survey, and the SERS-Safety Event Report System. The Group will continue to collect language data in ambulatory surveys in large enough samples to provide information on culturally diverse populations.
The Education and Cultural Competency Working Group is in the process of developing and implementing a menu of cultural competency training curricula for all clinical and non-clinical staff, reflecting BCH's long term sustained strategy for cultural competence and Exceptional Care, Exceptional Service.
The Respectful Interactions Working Group is examining the dynamics between physicians, staff, parents and patients particularly the nature of the interaction, examples, metrics, solutions and next steps.
The Workforce Diversity Working Group has been focusing on activities designed to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse work force. These include redesigning and enhancing internal and external diversity websites and translating some portions of the BCH website into Spanish, the completion of a diversity brochure and the creation of a diversity calendar. A diversity "scorecard" will be developed to track recruitment, turnover data, and promotion information by diverse groups. Recruiting efforts have been expanded by targeting diverse demographic markets and widening partnerships with local academic institutions and community organizations. The Human Resources Department, in conjunction with Patient Services and the Legal Department, has thus far trained over 400 BCH managers on record-keeping, compliance, and the role of recruiter and hiring manager with an aim to build a more diverse applicant pool and to support BCH in its affirmative action initiatives.
Valerie Ward, MD, MPH, is a faculty radiologist at Boston Children's Hospital, an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and serves as the Diversity and Cultural Competency Council (DCCC) Faculty Director, with the support of the Office of Faculty Development.
Dr. Ward's training includes a fellowship in pediatric radiology at Children's, an HMS health services research fellowship, and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. She was one of three academic radiologists in the U.S. selected for a prestigious General Electric Association of University Radiologists Radiology Research Academic Fellowship (2002).
She has contributed to research in pediatric imaging technology assessment using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and low radiation dose fluoroscopy. She won a Society for Pediatric Radiology's John A. Kirkpatrick Young Investigator Award. More recently, she has undertaken research in health care disparities and co-authored a Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation grant with members of the DCCC to create an in-patient satisfaction initiative Pathways to Culturally Competent Care.
In 2004, she was awarded the Children's Hospital sponsorship to the Fellows Program of The Partnership, Inc., an organization committed to workplace diversity and inclusion through professional and organizational development. Dr. Ward received the hospital-wide 2008 Black Achievers' Award.
Dr. Ward is highly regarded for her mentoring roles in the HMS community and has been a valued research mentor to junior faculty and fellows and a mentor to premedical college students. Dr. Ward applies her expertise in child health outcomes research to the DCCC's effort to conduct important research in health outcome disparities.
"Our council has the clearly defined charge of developing and maintaining a workplace that supports and embraces diversity and culturally competency in clinical care, teaching and research on disparities in health outcomes," she says. "Our five DCCC working groups are focusing their efforts on the unique needs of Children's, facilitating institutional goals and the delivery of health care that will result in optimal health outcomes for all children.
Identifying with Children's mission to serve children and the community, Michelle Gordon-Seemore joined the hospital in January 2007. As Director of Staffing and Recruitment and new Director of Recruitment and Retention for the Diversity and Cultural Competency Council (DCCC), Gordon-Seemore brings over 25 years of staffing experience and a commitment to making Children's a place of inclusion."Diversity to me is the inclusion of everyone," says Gordon-Seemore. "I want Children's to not only be diverse, but a workplace of choice for everyone."
Prior to working at Children's, Gordon-Seemore worked at Reebok International for 10 years and has worked in various industries including investment banking, apparel, and publishing.
As new DCCC Director of Recruitment and Retention, Gordon-Seemore will work with DCCC Faculty Director Valerie Ward, MD, MPH, on meeting the five goals set by the council. In 2007, the council divided itself into five working groups dedicated to each of the council's initiatives. In addition to co-chairing the DCCC, Gordon-Seemore also serves as a leader of the Workforce Diversity Committee, one of the five working groups. Her hope is that she and Ward will continue to partner with each working group, assisting them in successfully meeting their goals and objectives.
Gordon-Seemore is a resident of Dorchester, a community outside of Boston. She received a bachelor's in Management at Emmanuel College, and is married with two daughters, 26 and 19. Her eldest is a Boston Public School teacher and her youngest is a student at Wentworth Institute of Technology. As an extension of her desire to help others to succeed, Gordon-Seemore serves on the board of One Family, Inc., not-for-profit organization devoted to ending family homelessness in Massachusetts.
Asked what strengths and experience she brings to her role as both director of recruitment and retention for the DCCC and as director of staffing for Children's, Gordon-Seemore credits her compassion, drive, and commitment to helping others.
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”