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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Celebrating Juneteenth - June 19, 2022

Juneteenth recognizes the story of enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, learning that they had been emancipated, close to two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. Today, Juneteenth is recognized and celebrated around the world. Juneteenth has always been a day intended for the celebration of freedom. Today, it is more than just a celebration; it is a time of reflection.

MaineHealth’s BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Care Team Member Network recommends the following resources to learn more about Juneteenth:

Suggested books for all ages:

  • "Mazie" written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper
  • "The Story of Juneteenth: An Interactive History Adventure" by Steven Otfinoski
  • "Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life" by Ashley Bryan
  • "Juneteenth Jamboree" by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Yvonne Buchanan
  • "On Juneteenth" by Annette Gordon-Reed

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at MaineHealth

In 2020, MaineHealth made a commitment to advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) throughout our system. We established a system-wide DEI department that supports this commitment through focused development of a welcoming, respectful, equitable and inclusive environment. This initiative also aligns with our MaineHealth values.

By focusing on DEI, we are developing a culture that respects and values uniqueness — allowing care team members to bring their whole selves to work. When our care team members can be themselves, they can be at their best. In a health care environment, that means providing the best possible patient care.

DEI helps us to see our patients differently and better understand the complexity of human interactions. From different cultural influences, communication styles, and language differences, to health disparities related to diversity — whether based on gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic or other backgrounds — the more we learn together and understand differences, the better we can serve our patients. This work helps improve communication, increases patient satisfaction and ultimately helps us to deliver higher-quality care.

What is DEI?

MaineHealth has established system-wide definitions for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Having these shared definitions reduces assumptions, advances our work, and connects us all to our organizational vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.

Diversity is a reality created by individuals and groups from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences. We view diversity from the lens of the uniqueness that each individual – care team member and patient – brings to our organization. We define diversity to encompass multiple dimensions of identity and experience including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity & expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, disability, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.

Equity is about creating fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for our care team members and patients & families by consistently evaluating systems and processes. We believe equity is only possible in an environment that emphasizes continuous learning and is in alignment with our values.
Inclusion is the act of creating environments where everyone feels and is welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. We believe every person’s voice adds value and that no one person can or should be called upon to represent an entire community. By creating an inclusive culture, we foster a diverse environment where retention is possible.
Belonging is when diversity, equity and inclusion come together to create a culture where we feel embraced and accepted for who we are, and our views, beliefs and values are integrated.