Each year, we call for nominations for our Take Pride Campaign in an effort to recognize those places of employment that went above and beyond regarding encouraging diversity; recruiting and retaining minorities; and creating a cooperative, inclusive work environment. We hope all of the nominated facilities continue to lead by example, and we are proud to recognize this year’s winners here.
Office of Multicultural Affairs, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing
Nominated by Debra J. Barksdale, Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
As Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) in the School of Nursing (SON) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. G. Rumay Alexander has worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to improve the SON’s climate in regards to diversity and multiculturalism. OMA serves as a school-wide resource for the proper understanding and judicious application of equity and multicultural concepts. She facilitates system-wide efforts for retaining students, faculty, and staff of underrepresented racial and ethnic populations and for enhancing their development as members of the nursing profession and the UNC community. Dr. Alexander ascribes to the principles of human flourishing. Not only does she have programming and activities that help faculty staff and students to open the eyes of their understanding, but she also provides many forms of consultation: individual, curricular, admissions, and organizational process and procedure. Through OMA, she implemented a program called cultural coaches. Dedicated faculty are assigned to work with specific diverse students to ensure that they are “cared for”. Currently there are 4 groups based on race and/or sexual orientation. Dr. Alexander has guided many health professions students, faculties, and executive leaders in educational, service organizations and health care settings, nationally and internationally, to explore together marginalizing processes, causality, and the vicissitudes of lived experiences of difference for those for whom we have promised to provide care, healing, and hope in our global world.
Dr. Alexander’s work retains an important place in designing and shaping continued support for culturally sensitive practices in education and health care. In addition to lectures, advisement, and consultations at UNC, she also has national and international influence. For example, in 2010, she received the AONE Prism Award in recognition of her diversity work. As a champion for transforming organizational cultures, she was featured in three National Student Nurses Association’s award winning videos distributed to thousands of nursing schools and high schools nationally. Appointed as a commissioner on the landmark Commission of Workforce for Hospitals and Health Systems of the American Hospital Association, she assisted in setting national conversations and directions regarding the recruitment and retention of all nurses and participated in the development
of the document, In Our Hands. Over 2 million copies of the report have been distributed nationally and internationally. She has consulted with 87 hospitals, seven externally funded grants and 12 schools of nursing. Her work has impacted nurses and nursing practice in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. She has authored four books and seven book chapters and participated on expert panels, advisory committees and professional bodies such as Sigma Theta Tau’s International Nursing Alliance, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Quality Forum’s steering committee for the first national voluntary consensus standards for nursing-sensitive care. An integral part of her work these past 25 years has been her leadership in advocating for the elimination of entrenched patterns of systems of inequality.
Creedmoor Psychiatric Center
Nominated by Renee Anderson, Chief Nursing Officer
Creedmoor Psychiatric Center’s approach to diversity and cultural planning is in line with the Office of Mental Health’s Office of Diversity Management, which includes the Bureau of Diversity Planning and Compliance, and the Bureau of Cultural Competence.
Diversity Management is responsible for implementing and monitoring all programs and initiatives related to equal employment opportunity, reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, affirmative action, diversity and cultural competence in service delivery. Recruitment and retention efforts are focused on maintaining an equitable work environment and a diverse workforce. Additionally, through assertive cultural competence programming, reducing and/or eliminating disparities in the delivery of mental health services is accomplished by infusing cultural and linguistic competence within all facility operations and supporting the goal of providing person centered care to all consumers.
Our Vision Statement “Mental Health for all, disparities for none” is demonstrated each and every day by how the facility provides services and programming both inpatient and in the community. For example, from the moment a consumer walks through our front door, a language assessment is conducted. Any language and/or linguistic needs that are identified are quickly put in place. Because the facility is located in one of the most diverse counties, we have more than 47 spoken languages under one roof readily available for translation services.
As part of our Educational and Training program, all ward staff attend in-service training and are culturally sensitive in providing a full range of diverse treatment services. These diverse services not only increase the level of understanding for our staff, it also provides a multi-cultural education and comfort zone for our patients.
In addition to the overall cultural sensitivity throughout the facility, Creedmoor has two inpatient wards for monolingual patients: one ward for Asian speaking and one ward for Spanish speaking patients. Bi-lingual staff are assigned to the respective wards, culturally appropriate cuisine is offered, traditional holidays are celebrated and ESL services are provided. On the Asian cohort ward, religious services are offered to those who practice Buddhism. When inpatients are ready to return to the community, referrals are made to culturally sensitive recovery programs where staff speak the native language.
I am very proud of the work we do here at Creedmoor. The Facility is making every effort to meet the needs of the culturally diverse population we serve in the Queens community.