Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa values divergent PERSPECTIVES that are founded in individual differences in gender, race, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, thought, ancestry, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, education, veteran status, citizenship, genetic makeup, or any other characteristic. These DIFFERENCES support Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa and its parent organization, Trinity Health's, commitment to its mission, values and excellence in providing patient-centered care. However, diversity alone is not sufficient. Diversity and the different perspectives it brings gains its strength when combined with INCLUSION, or an inclusive organizational culture.
The mission and core values fed, nurtured and sustained the work of the Sisters of Mercy more than 150 years ago as they faithfully served God's kingdom - providing health care to those most in need. Today, these values continue to be the guiding principles of what has become the outgrowth of the work of the Sisters, the creation of Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa and Trinity Health.
Implicit in Mercy Medical Center- North Iowa's core values are the principles of diversity and inclusion. While these words may not have been used by the Sisters in describing their work, their tradition of providing unconditional, compassionate care with excellence for those in need, and especially the most needy, certainly embodies the concepts of diversity and inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion are modern-day extensions of Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa's core values. They are vital to the work of Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa in the face of a rapidly changing demographic and cultural landscape. Diversity and inclusion are the vital ingredients to making Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa what it is today. Anything less is falling short of the vision put in motion by those faithful, humble and compassionate servants of the Gospel more than 150 years ago.
Beyond the philosophical rationale for why the work of diversity and inclusion must become "imperative," there are two primary, practical reasons for doing so: providing excellent patient-centered care, and competing effectively in an increasingly aggressive health care market.
Our Commitment To Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Competence
Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa, along with Trinity Health, aspires to be known as a premier health care provider in the communities we serve and to be an employer of choice. We want to recruit and retain top talent and focus on the development of all associates. While we seek to live out the Gospel principles, we strive to shape our ministry with diligence and humility.
Declaration of Diversity and Inclusion
Every day, our associates display acts of unfettered compassion. Caring for others' well-being is one of life's highest honors and greatest responsibilities. Mercy - North Iowa and Trinity Health's leadership is committed to building a workplace that ensures an open, inviting and respectful environment for all of our associates, physicians, patients, and families. This commitment includes the establishment of strong relationships with minority-owned suppliers and trusted relationships with our community partners.
Together, we can create an environment where associates embrace differences and fundamentally believe that those differences will strengthen the service we provide to our communities.
We promise ...
- To provide the best patient care. Lack of medical insurance, language barriers, lack of caregiver understanding of cultural norms related to health care decision-making, will not hinder Mercy professionals from giving the best care they can.
- To promote fairness. We will promote an organization that values fairness. Fairness for its own sake is reason enough to create an inclusive work environment, but it also is part of creating a workplace in which people are motivated to perform well.
- To acknowledge changing demographics. In the future, the population over 65 - the heaviest users of health care - will be far more diverse, and the majority of them will be women. Mercy will do all in its power, including providing education, to make sure that our workforce is ready to serve all to the best of their ability.
- To welcome the future workforce. Current K-12 enrollment suggests that the talent pool for the next generation of health care professionals is largely composed of children of color. These children will increasingly be relied upon to supply the culturally competent skills and labor needed to care for the ever-increasing number of seniors.
- To foster innovation. Studies show that associates who are comfortable and secure in their work settings are more free to be innovative. When several diverse perspectives are brought to the table, solutions to problems tend to be more creative than those conceived by non-diverse groups. Within a health care context, creativity and innovation applies not only to the development and improvement of health care delivery processes but also to interactions between patients and health care providers.
- To use resources efficiently. The cost of recruiting, relocating, training and retaining workers is high, especially in health care. Because it is clear that the emerging workforce will be diverse, Mercy must position itself to become an "employer of choice" in their markets by recruiting and retaining the best people. An inclusive work environment is the keystone to this strategy.
Patient-Centered Culturally Competent Care
Patient-centered care is an approach to health care that is intentional about recognizing, acknowledging and understanding the myriad individual and cultural differences that exist in patient populations, and that those differences contribute to patient outcomes and the overall quality of patient-provider interactions.
Patient-centered care is synonymous with culturally competent care when one recognizes that every patient and every family who engage the health care system bring with them a set of "sub-cultures" that impact their interpretation and understanding of that engagement. Gaps in communication often caused by a lack of awareness and understanding of the patient (and family members) by health care providers can lead to an unsatisfactory care experience, not only for the patient but also for the health care providers.
Mercy will educate associates about the patient-centered approach that accounts for the patient and his/her family's value system that can help to ensure positive patient outcomes.
Being Competitive In a Competitive Marketplace
The United States is in the process of significant demographic changes, especially with respect to race and ethnicity. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2050 approximately one-half of the U.S. population will be categorized as "non-white" or "persons of color."
A number of factors are fueling these changes, including higher birth rates among people of color and immigration. These demographic changes are impacting many parts of our society.
On the economic front, a 2005 University of Georgia report suggests that by 2010 the buying power of people of color will reach $2.7 trillion. To put that into perspective, it would place the combined group of African Americans, Latino / non-white Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans eighth in the world economy with respect to Gross Domestic Product, ahead of Canada.
In addition, "non-white" persons and women are the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs and small business owners fueling an increasingly significant part of the country's economic engine.
On the health care front, diversity is bringing an even wider spectrum of perspectives, values, beliefs, languages and behaviors about health and well-being into contact with the health care system. Mercy, as a health care provider, will focus on patient-centered care and outcomes required to take these changes and differences into account in the delivery of health services.
Mercy's strategies for hiring key talent will include:
- Encourage and support commitment from leaders to recruit and select associates with bilingual abilities for key roles and areas
- Ensure associate population represents communities we serve
- Support leaders in removing barriers to hiring and successful employment of diverse applicants
- Leadership development opportunities plans for current diverse associates
Mercy will strive to be a good community partner in the programs and services it provides as a community benefit.
- Ensure community partnerships represent diverse groups and are partners in delivering culturally competent care
- Support community initiatives to benefit diversity and inclusion
- Ensure diversity and inclusion is included in all programs throughout the organization