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4 Recent DEI Officer Appointments at Provider Organizations

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   January 23, 2021

Check out some recent DEI leadership appointments at hospitals and health systems across the nation.

Recently, there has been a growing trend in hospitals and health systems appointing leaders to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts across the workforce and patient care.

Larry Griffin, co-founder and partner at Bridge Partners, LLC, a minority-owned executive search firm, shared tips with HealthLeaders earlier this month for DEI recruitment in healthcare. He also underscored the importance of DEI in the workforce and C-suite.

"The healthcare industry [is] no different than other industry. If you don't have diverse leadership, the people that are within the organization, from a career standpoint, look up and they say 'Well, will I have an opportunity to pursue my career goals at this organization if nobody at the top of the organization looks like me?'" Griffin told HealthLeaders.

In light of the growing recognition of the importance of DEI, check out some recent DEI leadership appointments that HealthLeaders has covered.

1. City of Hope Appoints First Chief DEI Officer

Angela L. Talton began her role as the first chief DEI officer at City of Hope, a California-based cancer treatment and research organization, on January 11.

Talton now serves as senior vice president and chief DEI officer to "lead the development of a new vision and strategy to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at the independent biomedical research and treatment center," according to a City of Hope press release announcing her hire last week.

2. Highmark Health Announces New Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Pennsylvania-based healthcare organization Highmark Health appointed a new chief diversity and inclusion officer on January 11.

Robert James, JC, MBA, MHA has been promoted to lead Highmark Health's enterprise-wide DEI strategy.

3. AHA Announces Leadership Appointments to Expand Focus on Health Equity, Workforce

The American Hospital Association (AHA) announced two leadership appointments on December 18 to expand the organization's focus on health equity and workforce strategies.

Joy Lewis, who previously served as AHA’s vice president for strategic policy planning, has been promoted to serve as senior vice president for health equity strategies, a newly created role for the association.

Robyn Begley, RN, CEO of the American Organization of Nursing Leadership (AONL) and AHA Chief Nursing Officer, will have expanded duties overseeing the organization's workforce strategies.

4. Allegheny Health Network Appoints VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Allegheny Health Network (AHN) announced the appointment of Veronica Villalobos, J.D. as vice president of DEI on December 10.

As part of the new role, Villalobos will work alongside with Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, who was appointed chief clinical diversity and inclusion officer, effective this month, to "champion DEI efforts," for the Pittsburgh-based academic medical system.

Melanie Blackman is a contributing editor for strategy, marketing, and human resources at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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