United Community and Family Services (UCFS)
Promoting and Maintaining Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 2021
DP collaborated with United Community and Family Services (UCFS) in Norwich, CT to facilitate and guide their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (with board and staff representation) in developing, promoting, and monitoring the effectiveness of policies, procedures, institutional structures, and partnerships that commit UCFS, a federally qualified healthcare agency, to achieve lasting organizational change.
The methodology at UCFS included rigorous stakeholder interviews; facilitated meetings; developing skillsets for Board and staff using appropriate media, literature, and training; analyzing employee and patient data by race, ethnicity, and medical service; comparison of demographic data in the Connecticut region that UCFS services; developing a workplan with actionable outcomes; and guiding and training the DEI committee to track their goals, objectives, and outcomes. DP also conducted a peer benchmarking of comparable health agencies who are also focused on improving DEI within their organizations.
Actionable Outcomes and Suggested Recommendations:
- DP made short-term and long-term recommendations for UCFS to continue to effect change and to emphasize that diversity, equity, and inclusion are priorities for the organization.
- The short-term recommendations included the importance of hiring a Chief DEI Officer at a senior level, and establishing an Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; developing a Leadership Development Program for staff who are people of color to increase their promotional prospects and creating a DEI Communication Strategy so that all staff in all UCFS locations understand the organizational commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
- The long-term recommendations prioritized collecting and analyzing DEI assessment data on both employees and patients to ensure that UCFS can serve its communities more effectively.
- Additionally, UCFS will incorporate DEI core values and data into its’ Strategic Planning process and plan; expand staff training; develop clear and explicit policies on anti-racism, implicit bias, and harmful behavior; and focus on employee engagement related to DEI initiatives.
- DP recommended that the Human Resources group work closely with the DEI Officer on all efforts, including developing new recruitment protocols and materials.