Diverse medical professionals

Committed to EDI for a Brighter Future for All

At Memorial Hermann Health System, we are committed to celebrating our unique differences every day. We share an optimism for the future and are pursuing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in all we do. As the health system that has cared for our community for over a century, we lead while providing our employees with the skills and support needed to advance their careers and improve the health of those we serve. It is a priority to cultivate a respectful, inclusive environment for our patients, visitors, employees, affiliated providers, volunteers and vendors. At Memorial Hermann, we believe it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure we are doing all we can to foster a respectful and inclusive workplace.

Through our EDI efforts, we are committed to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion both within our walls and throughout our community. EDI will be the driving force behind every decision made and every action taken at Memorial Hermann. We must hear every voice to achieve our vision of creating healthier communities, now and for generations to come.

Defining Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Memorial Hermann

The just treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Equity in action means recognizing we all begin at different starting lines and helping someone along the way will always be the right course of action.

Includes all the ways in which people differ, such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, culture, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language and physical ability. It also involves different ideas, perspectives and values. Diversity in action means people feel safe and empowered to live as their authentic selves.

Including all individuals and/or groups into processes, activities and decisions/policymaking in a way that shares power, fosters respect, and embraces our diversity. Inclusion in action means individuals are valued for who they are and what they offer and that they have the opportunity and means to reach their highest potential.

Supporting EDI Within Our Walls

Although diversity has always been a priority for Memorial Hermann, the health system formed a project team in 2018 that was focused specifically on diversity in the workplace. They tackled questions such as:

  • What does diversity look like at Memorial Hermann?
  • What is our diversity statement?
  • How does Memorial Hermann focus on diversity?

To begin promoting diversity in the workplace, the team created a diversity statement, an executive council/governance system, and formed a council comprised of employees who were committed to advancing diversity.

Memorial Hermann recently hosted a Leadership Listening Tour on Race, Diversity and Inclusion that included 33 sessions held at various locations throughout the system. Feedback from employees revealed that we could not focus solely on diversity and that we needed to be intentional and strategic in our efforts. From bedside and clinical staff to leaders and support staff, employees from across the system wanted to be involved in our efforts to transform the workplace.

Our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Program Was Born

Today, our EDI journey continues. The EDI Executive and Leadership Councils provide advocacy and oversight for Memorial Hermann’s EDI initiatives and programs. These leadership groups work collaboratively to develop and implement Memorial Hermann’s EDI strategic plan and priorities, and to provide guidance to our EDI Councils (Employer, Health System and Community). Additionally, they promote and foster an environment in which all individuals are treated equally, where ideas and opinions of all are valued and considered to have merit. These efforts are increasing equity, diversity and inclusion awareness throughout Memorial Hermann’s workforce.

The EDI Employer Council works to identify opportunities to embed EDI principles through every phase of the employee lifecycle while developing the overall structure and guidelines for Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). The Council also explores opportunities to celebrate the diversity of Memorial Hermann’s workforce.

The EDI Health System Council provides leadership to develop programs that improve access and utilization among diverse populations while also providing guidance on diversity issues impacting the patient care experience and outcomes. Additionally, they serve as a source of ideas on ways to improve the cultural competency of our caregivers.

The EDI Community Council focuses on expanding our EDI efforts beyond our walls by providing guidance on programs to address and educate our community on social determinants of health. They also work to expand our network of vendors to include under-represented groups. In addition, they identify and facilitate opportunities to partner with other organizations to uplift underserved communities and populations.

Accomplishments of Our EDI Program to Date

Since our EDI program officially launched in mid-2020, the efforts of our Council has helped Memorial Hermann to:

  • Add Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a paid holiday;
  • Recruit an EDI Program Director;
  • Launch an internal EDI resource page;
  • Recognize major faith-based holidays;
  • Partner with nationally recognized EDI consultants for assistance in the development of long-term strategy and forming Employee Resource Groups;
  • Launch an EDI channel on MH Now, our internal digital communications platform, on which we host diversity month celebrations and encourage employees to share their personal EDI stories;
  • Develop a systemwide Diversity Month Celebration calendar (Black History Month, LGBTQIA+ Pride Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month are just a few of the nationally recognized diversity months we celebrate as a system);
  • Add an “Introduction to EDI” eLearning module to our online curriculum system;
  • And much more.

While these accomplishments have been crucial and foundational to our success, it is just the first part of our EDI journey.

Educating and Engaging Our Workforce

The EDI Channel on MH Now

The EDI Channel on MH Now, Memorial Hermann’s internal digital communications platform, serves as the home for our EDI celebrations, stories and announcements. On the EDI channel, employees can access a variety of educational resources or share their personal, unique experiences. Sample content includes:

  • Virtual Panel Recordings: For each nationally recognized month the system celebrates, Dr. David Callender, Memorial Hermann’s President and CEO, moderates a virtual panel discussion that features internal and external experts. Examples include A Conversation about Pride in Progress, A Conversation about being Asian in America and A Conversation about Eliminating Racial Bias in Health Care.
  • Personal Stories: Employees and physicians open up about their heritage, faith or family, and share their unique experiences, traditions and backgrounds.
  • Educational Articles: From exploring important Hispanic and Latino/a historical milestones to understanding LGBTQIA+ terminology, the EDI channel has a wide range of educational information available to our workforce.

Supporting EDI in Our Communities

As the largest healthcare provider in Greater Houston, Memorial Hermann is committed to addressing social determinants of health by supporting communities in need. Memorial Hermann contributes more than $525 million annually to support the uninsured and underinsured with school-based health centers, neighborhood health centers, community resource centers, park revitalization projects, mental health crisis clinics and more.

Community Benefits Corporation

To advance Memorial Hermann’s vision of creating healthier communities, the Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation (CBC) implements initiatives built on the foundation of four intersecting pillars: Access to Health Care, Emotional Wellbeing, Food as Health and Exercise is Medicine. CBC implements initiatives that work with other healthcare providers, government agencies, business leaders and community stakeholders that are designed to improve the overall quality of life in our communities.

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Neighborhood Health Centers

Designed to serve as a “medical home” to uninsured working families, the goal of Memorial Hermann’s Neighborhood Health Centers is to provide preventive, acute and chronic care. These clinics offer extended hours and weekends, are strategically located near two of Houston’s busiest Emergency Centers and charge just above costs – offering affordable clinic care for individuals looking to decrease their hypertension, manage their diabetes and more.

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School-Based Health Centers

Memorial Hermann Health Centers for Schools provide medical, mental health, dental, nutritional, navigation and exercise programming to eligible children and adolescents in more than 80 schools across the Greater Houston area. Our primary goal is to bring increased healthcare to students who otherwise may not receive it and to keep them in school where they can learn. Successful partnerships like this reduce student absenteeism and share the mission of improving students’ overall health and wellbeing.

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Community Resource Centers

Memorial Hermann Community Resource Centers were created to help improve the overall health of our community by providing one-stop locations where individuals and families in our community can get help signing up for healthcare and social services. Knowledgeable about community resources, our team can assist with health and social service connections, applications and education. We help people apply for medical insurance and can connect individuals and families to community clinics. We also help with access to food through SNAP applications, referrals to community pantries and provision of emergency onsite pantries. Additionally, we help with social service connections, supportive housing, utility, legal, financial and behavioral health and other related needs.

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Women’s and Children’s Health

Memorial Hermann is committed to reducing economic, racial and ethnic disparities. Each year, Memorial Hermann cares for more than 25,000 laboring mothers from every ethnic, economic and racial background. Sixty percent live at or below poverty level. Forty percent are eligible for Medicaid. In April 2021, the Memorial Hermann Maternal Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Council was formed to fully understand the severe maternal morbidity problem and to identify and begin addressing the underlying causes. The Council began by looking at the morbidities – the underlying health conditions – that lead to pregnancy complications for these laboring moms. We are working with and in the communities we serve to understand and address the underlying causes of pregnancy-related complications, including the social determinants of health, which begin long before a woman becomes pregnant. Even while the Maternal EDI Council is identifying opportunities, Memorial Hermann has several initiatives already underway. In addition to our own programs, we collaborate with government agencies and our community partners to support all women, with an emphasis on women of color, and their babies—before, during and after delivery.

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Recognizing Memorial Hermann’s Commitment to EDI

Memorial Hermann has been recognized by Vizient as a top performer for Supplier Diversity Excellence. This designation recognizes community hospital members that best champion inclusion in their supply chain, accelerating economic growth in their communities by choosing to work with minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. Vizient will recognize Memorial Hermann and other honorees in November 2021 at its Fall Connections Summit in Las Vegas.

In addition, Memorial Hermann received the inaugural Sheri L. Parrack Diversity Excellence Award from the Federation of Houston Professional Women in September 2021. The award recognizes Memorial Hermann’s robust efforts to promote equity, diversity and inclusion along with our ongoing work to create a more inclusive environment for both our workforce and our community.

Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation has been recognized by many different groups and associations for its innovative efforts to address the issue of healthcare access for the underserved and uninsured. Click here to learn more about the Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation’s numerous awards.

GHP One Houston Together LogoMemorial Hermann is also proud to be part of the Greater Houston Partnership’s One Houston Together initiative to make Houston “America’s most inclusive and open city.” Our system has pledged to adhere to the initiative’s Racial Equality Principles, using them as a framework as we work to reform systems of bias, strengthen underserved communities, advocate for inclusion and remove barriers to achievement. As one of Houston’s largest employers, Memorial Hermann is proud to be part of the Houston business community’s collective commitment to racial equity and inclusion.

Employees interested in taking a more active role in Memorial Hermann’s EDI efforts can email EDI@memorialhermann.org for more information.

Guiding Principles of EDI at Memorial Hermann

  • Memorial Hermann thrives when our employees, physician partners and the greater community thrives.
  • We recognize and celebrate the incredible diversity of the Greater Houston community.
  • We strive to bring equitable treatment and healthcare programs to all.
  • We create opportunities for our employees by embedding growth and development in our culture.
  • We ask our employees to be actively engaged with EDI efforts
  • We value the inherent worth of every person and create a culture of belonging for all.
  • We treat all employees, physician partners, patients and members of our greater community with dignity and respect.
  • We develop a sense of intentionality by considering EDI before any decision is made.
  • Memorial Hermann has zero tolerance for discrimination or injustice in any form.
  • We are open to different ways of thinking, doing and being.
  • We create safe spaces for exploration, creativity, authenticity and appropriate risk-taking.
  • It starts with our leaders, and we hold our leadership and ourselves accountable for the patient experience, our work environment and our progress in meeting our EDI goals.
  • We foster open communication and dialogue so that every person can be their authentic self, even when that means having uncomfortable conversations.
  • We hold Memorial Hermann leaders to a higher standard as they set the example we will follow.
  • We provide honesty and transparency through frequent updates to employees, physician partners and patients on our processes and progress.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Memorial Hermann Health System shall provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), pregnancy, disability, genetic information, U.S. military service, or any other characteristic protected by law.