Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity: 15 minutes about how to take action

At Hailey Sault, we believe in better. It is our purpose.

Part of believing in better is an absolute belief that health care is a right—that no matter who you are, where you live, or how much money you make, you have the right to care that will allow you to live your healthiest life.

During a recent Campfire webinar session we had the opportunity to discuss the topics of diversity, inclusion and health equity—topics we believe are so important to the health of all people that we pulled that discussion out to share here.

In this almost 15 minutes of video, our guests discuss concrete actions health care organizations—and we as communicators and marketers—can take to begin making health care more equitable for all.

Joining us were:

  • Toni Midderhoff Miller, Director of Brand Marketing, NorthShore University HealthSystem
  • Carl Maronich, Marketing Director, Riverside Healthcare

The incredible thoughts and insights shared by both Toni and Carl are best summed up in the following quotes:

It starts with talking (and listening)

“The most important thing is first of all to talk,” said Toni. “We need to talk and listen.”

“That is one of the overriding issues today in America, is the inability or unwillingness to listen to what’s going on out there,” said Carl. “People think they already know, so they don’t need to listen.”

Learn more about your community

“Learn more about who is in your community,” said Toni. “You’re serving a community and if your community is 50 percent of color and not of color, or 75 percent, whatever that is, whoever those individuals are—are you doing enough to understand what they need?” 

“We know there are certain things that run consistently with ethnicity—diabetes, heart disease, comorbidities—and different things for African Americans than Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans,” said Toni. “So know what that is in your community. Understand how it impacts that community and how they socialize it.”

Build relationships

“Sometimes people forget that there is a negative connotation [to health care] with some ethnicities, based on historic experience,” said Toni. “You have to understand that there is a relationship that has to be built in these communities because the historical relationships have not been there.”

Be relevant

“The information needs to be relevant, it needs to be adapted to what is important to them,” said Toni. “How they look at it and speak to it, which may not be how mainstream America does it.”

Where does your organization stand on diversity, inclusion, health equity and social justice?

“The things we’ve seen in the last six to eight months in the country should wake us up to the need to reexamine where we are on this topic. Health care as an  organization—any organization, that size with that much longevity—systematic racism is part of that,” said Carl. “I don’t think that can be denied. So how do we look at our own part in the overall health care continuum and world and see where we can check in with our own organization.”

Toni explained that the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at her organization is conducting a listening tour to understand the systemic racism issues they may not even be aware of. “A lot of questions come up around—’I don’t know how to have that conversation, or start to understand how to have that conversation, when you are a person not of color.’”

What about your employees?

“The other important thing is on the employees’ side,” said Carl. “What is your makeup from an employee standpoint? And how are you addressing their needs and how are you making opportunities available?”


1. Begin talking

2. Listen … listen … listen

3. Learn

4. Then take action

Join Us for Our Next Campfire Session

We started the Campfire webinars in the early days of COVID-19 so colleagues could discuss the issues and opportunities impacting health care marketers. That was when we thought COVID-19 would be “here today, gone tomorrow.” Clearly, there’s still a lot to discuss. Join us and your colleagues for an upcoming fun and informative session soon. Click the link below to view past Campfires and to be notified of future Campfires.

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