Dr. Jeffrey Brenner and Camden Coalition Staff

Diversity and Inclusion: A new core value of the Camden Coalition

Draft Diversity and Inclusion statements written by Coalition staff

Last summer, Diversity and Inclusion became the newest core value of the Camden Coalition.

“As we expanded in scope and our work got more complex it was important that we were aligned on our shared values” says Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, CEO of the Camden Coalition. “Our core values anchor us through change, help us withstand hard days, and clarify tough decisions.”

Diversity and Inclusion joins our existing core values of Servant Leadership, Communication and Collaboration, Compassion and Respect, Innovation, and Data Driven. These core values were selected in 2014, soon after the Camden Coalition was formalized as a 501(c)(3) and began growing rapidly as an organization.

Creating a core value that would speak to all facets of our work and lead to meaningful organizational change was an organization-wide process that culminated in an all-staff Diversity and Inclusion retreat in early July, but the work to implement the newest core value is just beginning.

At the all-staff Diversity and Inclusion retreat, facilitated by Inca Mohamed of Management Assistance Group, Camden Coalition staff explored the various components of diversity that impact our work, relationships, and wider Camden community, and worked in teams to draft Diversity and Inclusion statements. Those statements were then were then synthesized into the organization’s final core value definition:

“We honor the inherent value of every individual’s unique story, experience, and perspective. We strive to amplify the voices of our staff, community, and stakeholders and to create a safe and inclusive environment where everyone can contribute one’s authentic self. Acknowledging that inequalities of power, privilege, and prejudice shape our current systems, it is our collective responsibility to address exclusionary and unjust practices through our work and in our workplace. By committing to Diversity and Inclusion, our actions become part of the broader struggle to end disparities in health and health care.”

Diversifying the health care field and creating opportunities for talented young people in Camden go hand-in-hand. The idea of stronger talent pipeline in Camden is why we launched the Camden Medical Assistant Training Program in May of 2015, and why we have worked with Hopeworks ‘N Camden to hire youth trained through their programs for internships and full-time positions at the Coalition.

We are working toward diversity and inclusion at all levels of our organization. The Coalition has already taken steps to diversify our executive leadership team, and in the coming months we will be auditing our hiring, promotion, and departmental practices to ensure they are aligned with the aims of Diversity and Inclusion. We want to make sure that our patient-facing staff, the organization’s best experts on delivering complex care, are tracked into speaking engagements and leadership roles.

“Diversity and inclusion are an imperative for the organization,” says Dr. Brenner. “We can’t solve some of society’s most difficult problems if we’re not listening to lots of voices and hearing from multiple perspectives.”

Posted: January 4, 2017