Thanks to the efforts and dedication of several nurses, Bayhealth was a winner in minoritynurse.com’s online Take Pride Campaign. This initiative highlights hospitals and other healthcare facilities who are actively working to maintain a diverse and inclusive environment.
For Ludmila Santiago-Rotchford, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, PCCN, a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Intermediate Care and Centralized Telemetry Units, and Kimberly Holmes, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, PCCN, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Coordinator of the Stroke Center, this recognition acknowledges their efforts creating and sustaining Bayhealth’s Diversity Committee, an interdisciplinary group that meets regularly to discuss diversity-related issues in the hospital system.
Since its inception in 2008, the Diversity Committee’s membership has grown rapidly and now includes over 20 members from various departments such as Cardiovascular Services, Patient Advocacy, Nursing, and Trauma Services.
“At every meeting, we see new faces. Diversity issues are for everyone, and we work together to break down barriers,” said Santiago-Rotchford.
Also supporting the Committee’s work is Marianne Foard, MS, RN, Director of Patient Advocacy, Service Excellence, and Professional Recruitment at Bayhealth. As the Diversity Committee Facilitator, Foard, who served a one-year term on the American Organization of Nurse Executives National Diversity Committee, reviews process and provides feedback to Holmes and Santiago-Rotchford.
A recent partnership with Delaware State University resulted in Bayhealth’s hosting an event in the 2012 Delaware Cultural Competency Education Series. Sponsored by the Delaware Division of Public Health and other state healthcare organizations, this series educates healthcare providers about the ways culture influences disease.
In September 2012, M. Chris Gibbons, MD, MPH, Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute in Baltimore, visited Bayhealth to deliver a presentation titled “Improving Minority Health Outcomes using Innovation in Technology & Information Systems.” According to Santiago-Rotchford, it was a huge hit.
“These issues are relevant to the way we care for patients,” she said. “Our patient population at Bayhealth comprises many cultural backgrounds. We want to deliver the very best care for each patient we see.”
Members of the Diversity Committee have attended workshops sponsored by the Institute for Diversity in Health Management. The group is also collaborating with DSU on a cultural awareness survey. The results will be presented in April 2013 at the Bayhealth Nursing Research Conference.
Throughout the year, the Diversity Committee hosts gatherings for hospital staff and publishes a monthly newsletter titled “Insights on Diversity.” The Committee also collaborates with the Planetree Spirituality Committee via the efforts of Deacon Dorothy Vuono and Bayhealth Planetree Coordinator Donna Henderson.