March 5, 2024

UC Davis Health Takes Steps to Increase Diversity in Healthcare Workforce

UC Davis Health, recognized as a leading employer in California by Forbes, has developed a comprehensive plan to increase diversity and inclusion in the healthcare industry. While California prohibits the consideration of race or ethnicity in hiring at public institutions, UC Davis Health has implemented successful outreach and local recruitment strategies that have garnered global attention and recognition.

A recently published case study in the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst outlines a step-by-step guide for medical centers and institutions seeking to diversify their healthcare workforces. The study highlights UC Davis Health’s successful recruitment efforts as a community-anchored institution.

David Lubarsky, CEO and Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences at UC Davis Health, emphasizes the importance of training the next generation of healthcare providers and research innovators in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Lubarsky states that DEI enriches patient care and the trainees will become ambassadors for equity wherever they work.

UC Davis Health has received numerous national awards for its commitment to diversity, health equity, and community engagement. Diversifying the workforce requires active commitment from leadership at all levels of the organization, with the goal of creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace for all employees.

The Talent Acquisition team within UC Davis Health’s Department of Human Resources has focused on cultivating a diverse and local workforce through strategic outreach efforts. Lyndon Huling, Interim Lead for the Talent Acquisition Unit, states that diversity, equity, and inclusion are core tenets of their recruitment strategies. They believe that a diverse and local workforce fosters innovation, improves patient outcomes, and positions UC Davis Health as an employer of choice.

In response to a community health needs assessment, UC Davis Health pledged to prioritize hiring and investing in the communities within 10 ZIP codes near their medical center that had the greatest socioeconomic and health needs. The Office for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HEDI) collaborated with human resources to implement the Anchor Institution Mission (AIM) for community health. AIM represents UC Davis Health’s commitment to leveraging its resources for the betterment of the local community.

Victoria Ngo, co-first author of the case study, highlights the importance of targeting outreach efforts to the neighborhoods in Sacramento that require the most attention. The AIM initiative aligns with UC Davis Health’s mission to address complex issues like poverty through innovation, collaboration, and community building.

Hendry Ton, co-first author and Associate Vice Chancellor for HEDI, emphasizes that tackling poverty and other social determinants of health is crucial to UC Davis Health’s mission as a land grant and healthcare institution. By becoming a trusted partner in the well-being of California’s diverse communities, UC Davis Health hopes to inspire other organizations to follow suit.

The design and implementation of outreach, recruitment, hiring, and onboarding efforts involved dedicated DEI leaders. The process included educating UC Davis Health leadership and staff about the benefits of local hiring. As a result, the percentage of new employees hired from AIM communities increased from 12% in the pre-implementation year to 17% in the second year.

UC Davis Health’s AIM initiative fosters meaningful connections between the local communities and their employee teams. This partnership is essential for improving access to care, education, and employment for those who have historically been underserved. Lubarsky affirms that UC Davis Health is a trusted pillar in Northern California, committed to the well-being of all communities.

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1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it