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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Since our EDI program officially launched in mid-2020, the efforts of our Council has helped Memorial Hermann to:
While these accomplishments have been crucial and foundational to our success, it is just the first part of our EDI journey.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Memorial 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.
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.