Recap: Best Practices in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Care Access Webinar


The Patient Access Collaborative (PAC) had the pleasure of featuring speakers from Montefiore Health System, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and University of South Alabama Health to discuss Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) in Access. Each institution highlighted one aspect of the amazing work they are doing related to DEI. From interpreters to digital navigation, the speakers imparted their wisdom and experience to an eager audience.

Greg Lewin, Senior Director, Patient Access Center and Marjulie Munoz, Assistant Director of Digital, Transformation Office showcased their digital strategy, which was built to best serve the "mosiac" of patients served by Montefiore Health System. Aimed to get patients what they need in a language that works best for them in a format that they prefer (text, voice, email), the Montefiore digital front door smartphone app features 23 languages. Their telemedicine strategy extends the language offer to a total of 65 languages, with interpreters fully integrated within the encounter with a seamless three-way video and audio interface. Perhaps surprisingly, seniors are taking advantage of the virtual encounter:  Montefiore found that 50% of their virtual visits were Medicare beneficiaries.

Cedars Sinai has focused efforts on its workforce:  unconscious bias education is required for all employees, and employees are encouraged to express their self-identification. With this training - and many other efforts to illuminate disparities and opportunities for improvement as elaborated by Pravina Mason, Director, Access Care Experience Team (ACET) - employees have been empowered to share their stories and communicate freely in forums like the popular virtual meet-ups, "Conversations by All and For All." Finding commonality through telling one's story is key to reducing barriers among employees. Encouraging employees to share freely is supplemented by efforts to understand the languages, cultures, religions, and many other vital characteristics of the employee base to better understand the workforce - and tailor the work environment to meet their needs. These efforts, led by a joint effort of the Offices of Diversity & Inclusion and Health Equity, have extended the value proposition of these employee-focused initiatives to delivering better, more inclusive care. 

Laiza Ramos-Pamias, Spanish Navigator at the University of South Alabama Health ("South") has rapidly made an impact on the Hispanic community in Mobile.  Shelby Smith, MS, Director - Care Access and Michael Barlow, Referral Center Team Leader, have leveraged Laiza's passion for improvement to focus on creating a better experience for the Hispanic community at South. Their efforts include handling referral calls in Spanish, aiding in clinic as an interpreter for templated Spanish clinic days, and identifying Spanish-speaking Obstetrics patients to facilitate the transition to South's pediatric enterprise for soon-to-be newborns, among others. Aiming to be a beacon of progress for the health system to emulate, the team has captured successes -- and discovered significant opportunity for improvement.

Thanks to our amazing speakers for sharing their stories of success - and what's to come. PAC members can download the webinar recording any time. If you are interested in continuing the conversation, PAC members are invited to join the PAC's DEI cohort. Email us at with your interest.