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United Against Racism: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Takes Shape at BWFH

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee co-chairs Suzelle Saint-Eloi, MS, RN and Terrance Lassiter

Across Mass General Brigham, diversity, equity and inclusion are central to ensuring our hospitals are the best place to work and receive care. Echoing MGB’s commitment to its United Against Racism strategy, BWFH recently convened its own Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, which has been working behind the scenes for several months to develop a charter and map a course forward.

Co-chaired by Senior Director of Public Safety and Support Services Terrance Lassiter and 6 North Nurse Director Suzelle Saint-Eloi, MS, RN, with support from Executive Sponsor and BWFH President David McCready, the committee is focused on recommending strategic priorities and actions related to diversity, equity, inclusion, community health and health equity for our employees, patients and the communities we serve. The group will work collaboratively with colleagues from across Brigham Health and Mass General Brigham to ensure that we continue to keep diversity, equity and inclusion at the heart of all we do.

“We know that a diverse workforce is better for our staff and our patients,” says Lassiter. “Keeping diversity, equity and inclusion front of mind, especially in hiring practices, leads to more innovation and creativity, and helps us develop better solutions to problems we all face.”

As such, one of the first areas of focus for the committee is diversity in leadership. Another key area of focus is COVID-19 vaccine equity. “As a nurse, I have seen firsthand the devastation COVID-19 has had on communities of color. But as a person of color, I also understand vaccine hesitancy within these communities,” says Saint-Eloi. “As a leader, both at BWFH and in my community, I stepped up to be one of the first to receive the vaccine. That was one small thing I could do. As part of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, I hope I can do even more to spread the word about vaccine safety.”

For both Lassiter and Saint-Eloi, the events of the last year that have brought worldwide attention to systemic racism have been a catalyst for action. “It will take us all, working together, to make change here at BWFH and afar. Just by bringing these issues to attention, we can begin the conversation,” says Lassiter.

If you would like to join the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee on its journey of guiding BWFH in becoming a national leader in eliminating inequities in health and healthcare, please reach out to Terrance Lassiter or Suzelle Saint-Eloi.

To read the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee’s newly approved charter, visit BWFHconnect.

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