The vision of Barnes-Jewish Hospital along with our partner Washington University School of Medicine is to be national leaders in medicine and the patient experience.  Our mission is to take exceptional care of people. We value integrity, compassion, accountability respect and excellence. As such, we aim to ensure that our patients have equal access to high quality health care, regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, language, socioeconomic status, sexual preference or any other diverse identity. As a national leader in health care, we will engage and develop a high-quality diverse workforce through recruitment and retainment efforts. We are committed to providing education and training to our staff to equip them with skills and tools to provide safe care to our patients in a culturally appropriate, patient- and family-centered way.

The Barnes-Jewish Hospital Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence provides a framework to facilitate and promote an environment of diversity, inclusion and equality. Our framework for Health Equality supports our efforts to deliver effective care to our diverse patient population. The Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence was established on May 5, 2006 to:

  1. Promote diversity and cultural competence initiatives and programs throughout the hospital, Washington University Medical Center and the St. Louis community.
  2. Collaborate with Washington University School of Medicine and other local agencies to support research and efforts to reduce health disparities.
  3. Promote dialogue around issues of diversity and cultural competence.
  4. Oversee activities to promote recruitment and retention of multi-cultural staff who support diversity within our organization and who will assist in our efforts to promote culturally sensitive care.
  5. Oversee programs for our Limited English Proficient (LEP) patient population through our Refugee Health and Interpreter Services program.
  6. Create an environment where our patients and staff are respected and included.
  7. Change some assumptions, practices, and beliefs in an effort to promote an understanding of the world from the perspectives of others.
  8. Develop a pipeline of health care workers through middle school, high school and college enrichment programs that expose students to health care and science careers.

The overall goal of the Center is to eliminate health-care disparities through programs, initiatives, interventions and collaborative efforts within Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University Medical School, BJC HealthCare and with our community partners.  Through efforts to eliminate cultural and language barriers, build a diverse workforce, educate and train our team members on culture competence and health literacy, and implement interventions to enable health equity, health disparities will be addressed and eliminated.

Why is the Center Needed?
We realize the value in confronting the inequalities in health care related to race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, language, socioeconomic status, sexual preference or any other diverse identity. We believe that focusing our efforts on enabling health equity for our patients will result in better health care outcomes for all of our patients.

The Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence provides a platform for us to organize our efforts to address health disparities.

The racial and ethnic demographics of the St. Louis regional community are significant reasons to focus our efforts on health equity. Our regional demographics comprise the following:

  1. 50% of the population in the City of St. Louis is African American.
  2. 23% of the population in the St. Louis Statistical Metropolitan Area is ethnically or racially diverse.
  3. Missouri is 10th in the nation for free case refugee resettlement.
  4. 85% of all new refugees sent to Missouri are initially settled in the St. Louis region.
  5. St. Louis city is third in the nation for the degree of diversity of new refugee arrivals.
  6. 17% of St. Louis city families use a primary language other than English in the home. 12% of St. Louis city school students are enrolled in English as Second Language (ESL) program.

These demographics provide requisite for the work of the Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence. The programs developed through the Center will help to reduce health care disparities in the St. Louis region.

Benefits of Diversity
"A diverse group will outperform in creating and developing solutions when compared to homogenous groups every time." — Arnold Donald, Barnes-Jewish Hospital board member.

Health care organizations that embrace diversity and inclusion will provide better care to its patients. In a diverse and inclusive environment patients will be more willing to seek treatment, communication and trust are enhanced, and patient outcomes are likely to be better.

When diversity and inclusion comprise the hospital’s culture, employees will benefit from a healthier, more engaging workplace with solid pathways for career advancement.

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