2010 WISHRM Diversity Advocate Award – Best Practices
The Milwaukee Center for Independence:
- Hosts an annual, three-day Diversity Awareness Celebration event. The event is designed to encourage employees to learn more about their similarities and differences, celebrate various cultures and traditions and become more aware of diversity issues.
- Produces quarterly “Diversity Corner” newsletters, monthly diversity email blasts, and diversity-centered “Lunch and Learn” sessions for staff.
- The agency’s Diversity Team schedules an annual team member retreat, facilitated by an outside consultant, to reiterate and strengthen support of diversity initiatives using goal-setting and team-building activities.
- Is considered a “knowledge center” in promoting diversity education and awareness in the greater Milwaukee community. An example is the agency’s collaboration with the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee to develop, host and promote diversity seminars and workshops in the MCFI Conference Center.
- Recognizes Gay and Lesbian Pride Month with an LGBT awareness “Lunch and Learn” featuring information about the issues surrounding sexual orientation within the workplace and community.
- Partners with the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) special education program to provide School to Work job opportunities at MCFI. Special education high school students gain the skills and experience they need to enter the workforce after graduation.
- In collaboration with Summerfest, MCFI sponsors a program to greet and welcome visitors with disabilities and point out the amenities for people with special needs offered by the festival. MCFI employees and family members volunteer their time to provide this service, which began in 2005.
- Works with the Milwaukee Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses by lending support in raising community awareness of Hispanic health issues and working to increase the number of Hispanics who choose nursing as a career.
- In partnership with the Hmong/Asian-American community in Milwaukee, participated in and co-sponsored the 2nd Annual Corridors Network event. The Hmong/Asian-American community connects local families with a wide array of resources.
- Works with the Milwaukee Chapter of TRIAD to outreach to the senior citizens’ community to help enhance the quality of life for older adults.
The Milwaukee Center for Independence and its Diversity Team are continuously exploring new opportunities to promote understanding among diverse groups, collaborate with allied organizations to advance diversity, and energize and educate staff members to become champions of diversity initiatives.
To accept the award on behalf of the Milwaukee Center for Independence, Mr. Alvin Hill, Director of Diversity and Learning and Development.
Mental Health Center of Dane County, Inc.:
Gundersen Lutheran Health System of La Crosse
- The MHC internal website has a Cultural Diversity Library page for staff resources.
- They participate in Health Fairs in the Latino, African American, and Southeast Asian communities.
- Each MHCDC program developed specific cultural competent strategic plan aimed at making services more accessible to a diverse client population and to employees.
- Crisis Intervention Team Training aimed at the elderly population.
- There is a HIV Committee auction to provide support to individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
- Patient and families’ knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds is being incorporated into the planning of care for the patient as it is a part of our five year strategic plan.
- They offer benefits for same sex and opposite sex partners.
- Gundersen Lutheran was one of 182 hospitals that participated in the landmark survey for promoting the importance of diversity management called “The State of Healthcare Diversity and Disparities: A Benchmark Study of U.S Hospitals.”
- Along with 9 other organizations, they developed and implemented a Healthcare Worker Initiative to increase education and employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.
- They helped develop a pre-college healthcare education program which encourages participation of low income and minority students.