Moving Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Initiatives From Philosophy to Reality

May 20, 2021
Karen Jones, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Karen Jones, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Johns Hopkins Medicine

The status for diversity, inclusion, and health equity initiatives across America? It’s complicated.

How do you train your staff about biases toward patients and colleagues when they don’t believe they have any? We all grow up with assumptions and stereotypical views of the world and the people in it.

For the health care industry, fair and equal access to quality education impacts the pathway to medical school and residency, career advancement, and the way physicians and staff relate to their patients and fellow workers.

Johns Hopkins Medicine officially launched its Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity about five years ago. It’s grown to now employ eight people who have spent the majority of their time over the past year educating people about COVID disparities and promoting vaccines with the added challenges that affect Black and Brown communities, according to Karen Jones, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s director of Diversity and Inclusion.

“You also have disability inclusion barriers,” says Jones. “People with disabilities have concerns that no one is addressing. They feel left out because the focus has been on people of color,” she adds. Diversity and Inclusion is multidimensional, encompassing not just race and ethnicity but gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, and more.

Johns Hopkins works very closely with community organizations, including faith-based leaders. Education is the biggest piece, Jones says, and in the wake of COVID and the death of George Floyd, its focus has also been on training to educate clinical staff on their unconscious bias as it relates to patient care.

Get more insights from Jones, as well as leaders from the University of Utah School of Medicine and UC Davis Health, in our new article:

Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Easier Said Than Done?

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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