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Input sought for Penn State Health St. Joseph diversity action plan

Lynette Chappell Williams stands smiling next to a stained glass window.

Lynette Chappell-Williams, chief diversity officer for Penn State Health, visits Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center.

In an Oct. 24 meeting with Penn State Health St. Joseph leadership, Lynette Chappell-Williams, chief diversity officer for Penn State Health, began a dialogue on the steps St. Joseph needs to take to implement a diversity action plan.

The project is an outgrowth of Penn State Health’s commitment to increasing the diversity of its workforce and advancing an inclusive respectful work environment at all of its locations.

“Over the past five years, a diversity initiative has been implemented in Hershey to create diversity initiatives at an organizational level and, more recently, at a departmental level, establish systems to increase diversity of candidates in the selection process and to provide health care professionals with diversity skills through the Inclusion Academy,” Chappell-Williams explains. “Many aspects of this initiative have resulted in national recognition from outlets, such as Forbes, Military Times and the Human Rights Campaign Health Equality Index.”

Penn State Health also has established employee affinity groups in Hershey that provide opportunities for employees of similar backgrounds to both network with each other and to make recommendations for the organization to be more inclusive. Currently there are seven such groups, which are focused on those with disabilities, military status, LGBTQ communities, women in medical and science positions, religious faiths, racial minority groups and young professionals.

St. Joseph will hold follow-up discussions to identify priorities for its diversity action plan. Employees who would like to submit ideas for the plan, should email by Dec. 31.

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