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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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:

Why are we making this commitment?

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?

When we talk about diversity, we are talking about the breadth of background, experiences and traits that make up the human condition. 

Diversity is about similarities and differences that include (but are not limited to):

  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Ethnicity
  • Race
  • Native or indigenous origin
  • Age
  • Generation
  • Sexual orientation
  • Culture
  • Religion
  • Belief system
  • Marital status
  • Parental status
  • Socio-economic status
  • Appearance
  • Language and accent
  • Disability
  • Mental health
  • Education
  • Geography
  • Nationality
  • Work style
  • Work experience
  • Job role and function
  • Thinking style
  • Personality type

It is important to note that an organization can have a diverse team of talent but that does not necessarily mean that everyone (particularly those with marginalized identities) feels welcome, feels valued or is given opportunities to grow and develop.

Equity is about ensuring that everyone has access to the same opportunities. Equity is not the same thing as equality. Equality centers around all things being equal, while equity recognizes that not everyone is starting in the same place, and so support or assistance may be needed to correct imbalances.
Inclusion is about leveraging and valuing diversity to create a fair, healthy and high-performing organization or community. An inclusive environment enables individuals and groups to feel safe, respected, engaged, motivated and valued for who they are and for their contributions toward organizational goals.