On October 26, in honor of Global Diversity Awareness Month, Keck Medicine of USC hosted their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fair for on-site and remote employees throughout the health system.

The fair saw nearly 200 participants across the enterprise. Everyone had the opportunity to speak with representatives of Keck Medicine’s employee resource groups, and those able to attend onsite enjoyed snacks and raffle contests.

“At Keck Medicine, quality health care starts with dignity, respect and compassion for our patients, loved ones and colleagues,” said Shannon Bradley, chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for Keck Medicine. “The hope with this fair was to not only bring our diverse workforce together, but to showcase that we intentionally and courageously create inclusive and supportive clinical care, learning, research and work environments.”

During the event, 37 employees registered to join one of Keck Medicine’s nine employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs are voluntary, employee-led associations where the Keck Medicine workforce can come together to share support, resources and info-sessions based on common demographics, backgrounds and interests. Since the formation of the ERGs in 2022, year over year growth has increased by 87%. As of November 1, 2023, there are 1,207 ERG members throughout the health system.

“When the idea of Keck Pride formed, I had no idea what it would turn into. I had vaguely heard of employee resource groups, but had never been part of one,” said Lindsey Morrison, co-chair of Keck Pride, the organization’s LGBTQ+ ERG. “As Keck Pride has evolved, along with other employee resource groups, I have experienced firsthand how meaningful it is to celebrate the diverse lived experiences of our staff and faculty and create a more welcoming, affirming environment for marginalized groups who have not historically felt welcome in health care settings.”

Keck Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was established in 2020 in an effort to move the enterprise towards greater organizational change. The goal of the office has been to help guide the health system’s new diversity initiatives and to take responsibility for continual progress. In the years since its inception, the office has overseen countless DEI events, collaborated with the health system’s supply chain team to increase spending on supplier diversity and cemented key community partnerships. Additionally, Keck Medicine hospitals and USC Student Health received the designation of “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). HEI is a leading national benchmarking survey of health care facility policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. To receive “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation, institutions must receive the maximum score in each section and earn an overall score of 100. This designation has been received at Keck Medicine hospitals six times in recent years.

“I have been part of Keck Medical Center of USC for many years and have seen a large number of Hispanic individuals become part of the workforce. I have always felt that we, the Hispanic workforce, have much more to offer if given an opportunity to do so,” said Michael Haro, co-chair of La Voz, Keck Medicine’s Hispanic and Latinx ERG. “By far the most fulfilling experience I have had as a member of La Voz is community outreach. Educating our community on good health is so rewarding. We focus on our local neighborhoods of Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, and East Los Angeles. Also, getting to know one another on a personal level is wonderful. To participate in this DEI Fair, and see where we started, is truly remarkable.”

— Matthew Vasiliauskas