by Josh Scales: TN HIMSS Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair/Founder & CEO of Uniti Health, LLC

As we take the time to reflect on the past year, I think we all can agree that 2020 was a year for the history books! The pandemic has been devastating for millions and exposed the longstanding-systemic health and social inequities that put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from Covid-19. Then there was the public death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody. These two events sparked a change in awareness and attitude regarding racial and social injustice. In response, The Tennessee Chapter of HIMSS decided to conduct a listening session to gather information and insight from our members, board of directors, and community representatives from all over the state. The session was an effective method to help our chapter gather information that can be used to help improve our strategic goals and efforts to increase the diversity and inclusion amongst the organization. 

The listening session was conducted virtually in a town hall meeting format. Tennessee Chapter of HIMSS Diversity Inclusion committee chair, Joshua Scales, asked a series of questions covering a wide variety of topics. The feedback that was received from the listening session was very valuable and informational. The participants were engaged and the open dialog was very eye-opening. 

We are using the feedback gathered from the listening session to help strengthen and enhance our strategic initiatives, as we move forward. This year we are hosting a series of podcasts and events to highlight these issues within our communities. If you are interested in partnering with us to help enhance our diversity and inclusion initiative, please reach out to one of our representatives. We are open to partnering with organizations also committed to improving the diversity, equity and inclusion issues we all face. Also, be on the lookout for other educational opportunities and content.