Welcome to The Institute for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) at Chase Brexton Health Care!
For over 4 decades, Chase Brexton has stood out as a health equity leader, providing integrated high quality health care for those at increased risk of marginalization. Born of employee-led efforts to continue expanding on this legacy, The Institute for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion at Chase Brexton aims to look within our organization and beyond, acknowledge our blind spots, and advocate for positive shifts in perspective and behavior that challenge us to grow and be more than before.
We aim to disrupt the behaviors, beliefs, and policies that sustain systemic inequities, structural racism, and other discriminatory practices. We are committed to creating a just society where the health and well-being of our patients, teams, and communities are fiercely protected.
What We Do
- Ensure that Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) principles are deeply embedded in our policies, conduct, behaviors, and in the overall experience of each patient and employee.
- Identify and address patient barriers as it relates to health equity, marginalization, and access to care.
- Promote a culture of inclusivity and continued learning through the development and delivery of staff EDI trainings, workforce development programs, and resource groups.
- Foster a culture of EDI innovation and growth within Chase Brexton Health Care and the greater community.
A health care inequity is a measurable, systemic, avoidable and unjust difference in health care access, utilization, quality and outcomes between groups, stemming from differences in levels of social advantage and disadvantage.
Equity refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality. While equality means providing the same to all, equity requires recognizing that we do not all start from the same place because power is unevenly distributed. The process is ongoing, requiring us to identify and overcome uneven distributions of power as well as intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or structural root causes.
Diversity refers to the identities we carry. There are many kinds of diversity, based on race, gender, sexual orientation, class, age, country of origin, education, religion, geography, physical or cognitive abilities, or other characteristics. Valuing diversity means recognizing differences between people, acknowledging that these differences are a valued asset, and striving for diverse representation as a critical step towards equity.
Inclusion refers to how our defining identities are accepted in the circles that we navigate. Belonging evolves from inclusion; it refers to the extent to which individuals feel they can be their authentic selves and can fully participate in all aspects of their lives. Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported. At the same time, inclusion is the process of creating a working culture and environment that recognizes, appreciates, and effectively utilizes the talents, skills and perspectives of every employee; uses employee skills to achieve the agency’s objectives and mission; connects each employee to the organization; and encourages collaboration, flexibility and fairness. In total, inclusion is a set of behaviors (culture) that encourages employees to feel valued for their unique qualities and experience a sense of belonging.
*Definitions Source: American Medical Association and Association of American Medical Colleges. (2021) Advancing Health Equity: Guide on Language, Narrative and Concepts. Available at ama-assn.org/equity-guide.
The Institute for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion is excited to share our EDI Strategic Plan! An undertaking that began in 2022, the plan includes input from employees and community members and represents the significant progress we’ve made in laying the foundation for this important work. The plan charts a path forward and outlines EDI goals and objectives in the following areas: Employee Engagement, Patient Experience, Growth and Community Engagement, Quality, and Financial. It is essentially a roadmap that will help inform our decision-making process and strategic priorities going forward. We acknowledge the need to transparently share our progress and reaffirm our commitment to serving our teams, our patients, and the greater Chase Brexton community.
Executive Director, The Institute for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion: Aya Shuman, she/her
Aya’s background and experience are steeped in health equity within the federal, state, and local arena.
Before joining Chase Brexton, Aya was a member of the Office of External Affairs, Stakeholder Engagement Staff within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of the Commissioner where she led public-facing COVID-19 stakeholder meetings for the FDA Commissioner and other Agency leadership. Prior to the FDA, Aya worked within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), where she forged key partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and served as a subject matter expert on efforts to improve health equity and reduce health disparities among disproportionately affected populations.
Aya believes that racism is a public health issue that warrants immediate attention and is passionate about the cultivation of thoughtful, creative approaches to EDI that aim to remove the barriers to optimal health and well-being that marginalized communities often face. Aya’s educational achievements include a Master of Science in Health Promotion and a Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health from the Maryland University of Integrative Health.