Schlissel, Runge and other leaders gather to launch new UMHS diversity initiative

April 13, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

More than 400 leaders across the organization came together on Monday, April 11 to officially kick off a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategic planning process for the health system. President Mark Schlissel delivered kick-off remarks promising a “bottom up” approach that involves input from team members at all levels and across all departments.

“We’re empowering everyone to get involved and help shape this process,” said President Schlissel. “If we succeed, it’s not just UMHS that benefits; it’s all academic medical centers nationally. We’re creating a model diversity, equity and inclusivity initiative in healthcare across the U.S.”

EVPMA and Medical School Dean Marschall Runge set expectations and charged the leaders in attendance to get their own teams involved in developing DEI initiatives tailored to their specific departments and areas of operation.

“We’re strongest when we work together. When we better understand our patients, we can provide far better healthcare and a much more productive work environment for faculty and staff and our trainees” Dr. Runge said.

UMHS faces an increasing array of opportunities and challenges as the landscape of academic healthcare continues to change. In order to realize our vision of performance excellence in all three areas of our mission, a talented and diverse workforce is needed.

Six vital strategies were outlined to help leaders integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into operations, ultimately supporting the institution’s goal to create an inclusive environment where everyone, including students, patients, faculty and staff, feels valued.


“These strategies are placed at the forefront of our planning process as a way to align our activities with the overall organizational strategic plan. They are absolutely crucial to the success of our health system,” said Dr. David Brown, associate vice president and associate dean for health equity and inclusion.

All employees are encouraged to take ownership of integrating these vital strategies into their unit operations.  Talk to your supervisor or unit planning lead to learn more and find out how you can get involved.

Materials from the event, including photos and a video, will be posted on a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website. Be sure to check the site often for updates.