Kindred Kicks Off 2015 Diversity & Inclusion Symposium

By Kindred Healthcare

Kindred DIS 2015

“The world is our university and everyone you encounter is your teacher. When you wake up each day, make sure you go to school!”

With that proclamation, Je’Mone Smith, Division Vice President of Human Resources and Diversity, inspired attendees of this year’s Diversity & Inclusion Symposium to be aware of the ways we can learn from one another every single day. “Awareness” was the theme of our second annual symposium, which was held at the downtown Marriott in Louisville, Kentucky.

To teach how valuing diversity and awareness can translate into best business practices, the symposium revolved around these objectives:

1. Highlight our workforce, patient and physician viewpoints to address current and emerging customer needs;
2. To provide a learning forum where global emerging and promising practices on diversity, inclusion and cultural competence can be identified to inform future healthcare policy and practice;
3. To educate and apply principles of diversity and inclusion to our daily work life; and
4. To lend and build an awareness/perspective to the evolution of diversity and inclusion in Cultural Competent Care, Workforce, Customers and Community.

The partnership between Kindred’s rehab division and UrbanFUTURE of St. Louis demonstrates our company’s commitment to embracing diversity. Kindred has partnered with UrbanFUTURE to provide a workforce pipeline that benefits urban youth who otherwise may struggle with job placement. The partnership offers real-life exposure to the healthcare field and opportunities for career advice and advancement that students may not be able to take advantage of otherwise.

UrbanFUTURE featured four students to kick off this year’s symposium. Each student offered the audience a powerful vision of “I AM”—who they are and what “opportunity” and “inclusion” mean to them.

The students shared their experiences with UrbanFUTURE. One student was injured and cut from her school’s sports team. After some time in rehabilitation, she came back and is now starting on a varsity high school team.

“There is no business like your own business,” began the personal story of one.

“I am present every day and everywhere,” said another.

The results of UrbanFUTURE’s efforts speak for themselves:

In just one year, so far we have:
• 191 impacted youth
• 14 high school students now interested in healthcare
• 3 high school seniors who are interview ready

Thank you to our therapists as well as UrbanFUTURE for the opportunity to mentor and recruit future healthcare professionals.