On June 3, 2020, Cleveland Clinic publicly supported Cleveland City Council in its declaration that racism is a public health crisis in our community. Since then, the healthcare system has worked to reaffirm its commitment to diversity and inclusion through new programs and partnerships.
As Cleveland Clinic takes steps to address and eliminate racial disparities and cultivate a culture that embraces diversity, inclusion, and equity – transparency is important. As an anchor institution in the community, Cleveland Clinic is leading by example through efforts that include:
An ongoing commitment to the community
Cleveland Clinic is committed to helping its communities thrive. The nonprofit multi-specialty academic medical center prioritizes the health of community members by being responsive to local needs, creating measurable improvements to well-being, and providing lifelong engagement through education, employment and healing.
Recent efforts that illustrate the organization’s pledge include: expanding a mobile, full-service pediatric school-based healthcare program; providing high speed internet to surrounding neighborhoods; expanding the ASPIRE Nurses Scholar Program; investing in the JobsOhio initiative; delivering Thanksgiving dinners to the community; and connecting patients with health and social organizations across Northeast Ohio which reduce barriers to care through the Unite Us program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cleveland Clinic brought tests, along with food and supplies to its neighbors. Community testing, home monitoring and community-based vaccine clinics were also provided by the health system.
In 2019 (the most recent reporting year) Cleveland Clinic’s total community benefit increased 12% to $1.16 billion, representing a measure of a hospital’s investment in its community through education, research, financial assistance and Medicaid shortfall, subsidized services, and outreach programs.
Attracting, recruiting and retaining a more diverse workforce
Cleveland Clinic’s talent acquisition department is focused on hiring, developing and advancing a more diverse workforce. Kiersten Kanaley, executive director of talent acquisition, joined Cleveland Clinic earlier this year after leading that function at Scripps Health, a non-profit healthcare system in San Diego. Kanaley is leading the operational aspects of Cleveland Clinic’s recruiting function to achieve the business needs of the health system and creating a clear and engaging candidate experience to attract the best caregivers.
Another addition to the department is Melissa Burrows, Ph.D., who serves as director of talent acquisition workforce diversity. On June 1 she joined Cleveland Clinic from the City of Cleveland where she served as director of the office of equal opportunity, part of Mayor Frank Jackson’s cabinet. In Dr. Burrows’ new role, a key responsibility will be to advance the organization’s goals to advance hiring efforts from the City of Cleveland by building and connecting caregivers from entry level positions to career pathways.
“Cleveland Clinic has been recognized as a healthcare leader in diversity and inclusion and that recognition carries a responsibility,” said LeJoyce Naylor, executive director of Cleveland Clinic’s office of diversity. “We are proud to provide rewarding jobs that open up opportunities for all skill levels and serve to support the health of our communities.”
Cleveland Clinic will have recruiters and coaches working in neighborhoods, such as at the Langston Hughes Community Health and Education Center, to help remove challenges related to job applications and interviewing.
“The work we do today is part of our responsibility and journey toward becoming a more inclusive and equitable health system tomorrow,” Naylor said.
Cleveland Clinic has also created an Executive Diversity Inclusion and Racial Equity Council, which will promote policies to build a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion that is free from the racism, bias, and health disparities that adversely impact its patients, caregivers and communities.
Becoming a founding member of OneTen
In December, Cleveland Clinic joined OneTen, a coalition of 37 top U.S. employers to train, hire and promote one million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement over the next 10 years.
OneTen has started working with Cleveland Clinic and other partner employers to accelerate hiring, retaining and promoting Black talent. The focus is on reducing exclusionary hiring practices, identifying robust and new talent sources, and ensuring adequate and equitable career pathways for all.
“The values of Cleveland Clinic, specifically our value of inclusion, aligns directly with OneTen’s mission,” said Kelly Hancock, D.N.P., chief caregiver officer at Cleveland Clinic. “Our partnership and participation in this coalition is an extension of Cleveland Clinic’s commitment to the lives of our current and future employees and the communities that count on us.”