State of Stanford Medicine affirms health equity, diversity and inclusion as core to strategic planning

At the annual state of Stanford Medicine address, leaders unveiled plans to refresh the integrated strategic plan and to continue implementing the Commission on Justice and Equity’s recommendations.

Stanford Medicine leaders reaffirmed their focus on health equity, diversity and inclusion at the March 7 State of Stanford Medicine address, unveiling an ambitious plan to refresh the integrated strategic plan through 2030 with an emphasis on continuing to implement the Commission on Justice and Equity’s recommendations.

The annual event, which features appearances by the dean of the Stanford School of Medicine and the CEOs of the Stanford Health Care and Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, this year also included Joyce Sackey, MD, Stanford Medicine’s inaugural chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer. The virtual town hall was moderated by Terrance Mayes, EdD, associate dean and executive director for strategy, equity and inclusion.

The Integrated Strategic Plan, or ISP, unveiled five years ago, was the result of a yearlong process that included gathering feedback from more than 4,000 members of the community. The ISP was the first-ever, enterprise-wide plan adopted by the entities that Stanford Medicine comprises and has resulted in significant alignment behind shared goals, priorities and strategic initiatives.

Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, thanked the Stanford Medicine community for its incredible work and dedication over the last three years. In reflecting on how much has been accomplished in the face of tremendous challenges, he shared his optimism for the future while acknowledging the role of the ISP in enabling Stanford Medicine’s successes. It has “unified our strategy and mission like never before,” he said. But he added that, given the speed of societal and technological change, the leadership team felt it was crucial to refresh the ISP through 2030 to better meet emerging challenges and opportunities.

Paul King, president and CEO of Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, linked the ISP refresh with existing and future health equity, diversity and inclusion efforts.

“Our success depends on fostering an environment where everyone feels included, supported and able to thrive,” he said. “Today’s update underscores that diversity, equity and inclusion will not just be a feature of the ISP refresh, but a central focus across all aspects of our mission.”

David Entwistle, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care, said that the same resolve that allowed Stanford Medicine to lead through the pandemic will help it build on that success in both implementing the commission recommendations and engaging in the ISP refresh. He announced a 26-person steering committee that will lead the integrated strategic planning refresh process — co-chaired by Brian Bateman, MD, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine; Priya Singh, chief strategy officer and senior associate dean; and Aaron Straight, PhD, chair of the Department of Biochemistry — that includes faculty, clinicians, residents, fellows, students and postdoctoral scholars.

He urged members of the community to participate in a survey that will open this week. “We really want your voice,” Entwistle said, adding that the surveys will provide the foundation for the updated plan, which is expected to be completed by the fall. 

Sackey said she thought her arrival at Stanford Medicine, coinciding with the ISP refresh and the implementation of the commission recommendations, was well-timed, and she outlined the work completed since the commission’s report was released in May 2021. Four action planning working groups — bias reporting and resolution, DEI education and standards, DEI institutional alignment, and health equity excellence — have been developing specific proposals to implement the commission’s recommendations. Sackey said they are now working on a staged implementation of these initiatives.

Just as with the ISP refresh, Sackey stressed that success was predicated on community input and response.

“We have an expectation to have active community engagement,” Sackey said. “We will seek input from all as we tackle the implementation phase.”

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit med.stanford.edu.

2023 ISSUE 1

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