ACHE of Massachusetts Celebrates Black History Month
Throughout February, we will share prominent stories of black healthcare leaders and what organizations around the state are doing to lift up the voices of leaders of color.
Hillrom Takes Black History Month to the Next Level
After the horrifying murder of George Floyd that occurred in the U.S. in May 2020, Hillrom’s public and internal response was swift and direct. Hillrom’s CEO, John Groetelaars shared, “Our response as a company and as colleagues must be to reinforce our Hillrom values, especially that of Respect.” He continued, “…we need to advance values that help ensure people do not need to live in fear for their safety and security because of the color of their skin.”
John’s comments reinforced Hillrom’s values and encouraged action. He assembled a team of Black Hillrom leaders to discuss internal actions the organization might take to improve racial equality, specifically in the U.S. The outcome is Hillrom’s REACH initiative. REACH addresses four pillars of action – Representation, Education, Awareness and Community at Hillrom. These four pillars reflect Hillrom’s values in ways that address how Hillrom models diverse and inclusive leadership, attracts Black talent at all levels of the organization, discusses race and unconscious bias openly, and leverages partners in our communities. In short, the REACH initiative encourages active allyship.
Hillrom’s senior leadership team, along with the leaders of Hillrom’s six Employee Resource Groups, are currently attending a virtual three-part learning series facilitated by an external educational partner. While speaking to a leader who was unable to attend the experience, one of our colleagues provided the following commentary:
“Our learning partner provided powerful historical insight into the experience of Black people in the US. The learning included a history lesson that has not been part of the traditional US education system. It focused on the fact that there has been a dual narrative – the story that we’re taught in school from “slavery to the ‘end of racism with our first Black US President,’” juxtaposed to the lived experience of Black people. There was profound engagement among your peers. They discussed their thoughts and feelings, the “human case” for understanding the importance of this learning, and then tied the learning back to the business case – what you can do as a leader at Hillrom to dismantle anti-black racism and become an active ally and advocate in the effort to hire, develop and retain black talent. You missed quite the learning experience!”
As of this writing, Hillrom leaders are participating in the second part of the REACH education series, focused on authentic allyship.
For more information on Hillrom’s REACH initiative and other Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging efforts, please check out Hillrom.com.