February 16, 2022

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Goals Prompt Community Initiatives

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission is providing advancement opportunities to minorities.

AdventHealth News, for Mid-America Union Conference Outlook, and Adventist Review

Addressing the health care challenges best seen through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion continues to be an ongoing conversation among leaders across AdventHealth, including in the Mid-America and Rocky Mountain regions of the U.S.

Through the years, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission in Kansas, located in the Mid-America Region, has spearheaded several community outreach initiatives targeted at stimulating economic empowerment among racial and ethnic minority groups. The most recent initiative is a Career Day event. In addition to addressing a need for workforce development, the initiative plays an important role in helping AdventHealth achieve its goal of having a team that reflects the diversity of the communities it serves.

Career Opportunities in Health Care

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission recently hosted a Career Day event for students from a neighborhood where many refugee families live. About 30 students, ages 13 to 18, came to the hospital to learn more about career opportunities in health care.

The students were invited through New Change for Youth (also known as NC4Y), a youth group for refugee families in Wyandotte County. NC4Y was cofounded by Anna Coridan, a surgical nurse at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission who moved to a neighborhood in Wyandotte County several years ago, after doing mission work in Nepal.

The refugee families have come to Wyandotte County from various places, including countries in Asia and Africa. With Coridan’s guidance, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission has been working with the community to learn more about their needs. “The goal of the event was to help kids learn more about the different types of health care careers that are open to them,” said Jeanette Metzler, community benefit manager at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission. 

“We want to help them be successful in finding careers and providing for their families,” Metzler said. “AdventHealth’s goal is to look at health care from a wholistic perspective. We want to provide support as they adjust to life in a new country.”

The Career Day event was organized by Chris Vogel, community sourcing team lead for AdventHealth talent acquisition. In his role, Vogel reaches out to organizations and schools in underserved areas to talk about the different positions at the hospital. Workforce Partnership in Kansas City partners with AdventHealth to provide resources for the program.

“The students were briefed on the 20 different jobs available to 18-year-olds,” Vogel said. “Some of those are clinical and some are nonclinical. Some require training and others don’t.”

The students spent the afternoon at the hospital learning about the different roles, education requirements and other qualifications. They also learned about logistics, including time commitments and scheduling classes.

A follow-up event was held a few weeks later at the neighborhood community center where students learned more about interviewing and job skills. Dressed in professional business attire, they practiced their interviewing skills and had their resumes reviewed by AdventHealth Shawnee Mission human resources team members.

“They were really engaged and excited about the event, which has dominated discussions during youth group meetings,” Vogel said.

With the Career Day getting such positive reviews from the students, Vogel hopes to make it an annual event and find new ways to expand it.

“Our goal is to stay in touch with them, and for them to apply, get hired and work at AdventHealth someday,” he said. “We hope that they’ll decide to start their health care journey here.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Mid-America Union Conference Outlook.