Each year, February provides an opportunity to celebrate Black Americans’ achievements and their pivotal role in shaping US history. This year, through displays in our Café and a lending library of books by contemporary and historical thinkers and writers, we’ve explored the contributions of Black Americans prominent in the fields of science, technology, medicine, and activism. The presentations were curated by Chris Harris, Dietary Cook in the Garden Row Café, who also used the month to prepare and serve meals that highlight Black culture and his own family’s traditions.
Jefferson Healthcare has worked on health equity-specific for the LGBTQIA+ community since 2017, and in 2019 established a broader Health Equity Committee (HEC) that was charged with identifying and reducing disparities in care. Prompted by the murder of George Floyd, 2020 sparked meaningful internal conversations about race and equity at Jefferson Healthcare and throughout our community. In response, the HEC held a series of focus-group discussions with employees to help redefine and expand the equity strategy for Jefferson Healthcare. Employee-driven projects have included further conversations about equity and celebrations of Black history, traditions, and culture – often through building community and sharing meals in the hospital’s Café.
In addition, the HEC has spent the last 18 months as a member of the Institute of Health Improvement Pursuing Equity cohort and the Washington State Hospital Equity Collaborative. The committee’s work is employee-driven, and the committee continually seeks feedback from employees about the scope and direction of this work.