Henry Ford Health System Recognized Once Again for Excelling at Workplace Diversity

May 15, 2017

When it comes to fostering inclusion of women, minorities, veterans, people with disabilities and of varying sexual orientations in the workplace, Henry Ford Health System is being called a leader once again.

DiversityInc., a New Jersey-based, veteran-owned business with the mission of promoting inclusive workplaces and educating businesses and the public about the value diversity-management initiatives, conducts an annual survey each year. From that survey, it issues a Top 50 companies list and specialty lists such as health care.

The survey, which asks a series of 200 questions about diversity to eligible organizations, applauds those that demonstrate success at diverse hiring, retention and promotion and works to hold them up as examples for others to follow.

After landing in the top spot on the list last year and previous years, Henry Ford came second place in 2017, behind Mt. Sinai in New York.

Henry Ford employs more than 24,600 people and operates hospitals, medical centers and more than 1,100 physician practices through its medical group and has made the list numerous times since the survey began in 2001.

“An award such as this is always nice, but what’s meaningful is the work that goes on all year long to find and nurture employees that are representative of the community and the world as a whole,” says Kimberlydawn Wisdom, senior vice president of Community Health & Equity and chief wellness and diversity officer at Henry Ford. “We strive for that representation through practices and policies based on an understanding and respect of what is needed to attract and promote underrepresented groups of people.”

 “By the way, having that diverse representation of the world around us also serves patients and families well,” says Wisdom, who picked up the award in New York City last week at the annual awards dinner.

DiversityInc looks for organizations that demonstrate best practices in: employee resource group participation, manager participation in cross-cultural mentoring, executive diversity councils, educating and mentoring diverse suppliers, among other qualifications. It selects honorees based on empirical data and analysis-driven surveys, and it publishes a magazine and website highlighting diversity news.

Initiatives and honors around diversity at Henry Ford include:
• A system-wide Healthcare Equity Campaign, focused on raising awareness, improving cross cultural communication and integrating changes into the system
• The Institute on Multicultural Health through the Healthcare Equity Scholars Program.
• A Multicultural Dermatology Clinic that specializes in hair, tissue and skin treatment for diverse ethnicities
• Multiple training opportunities in diversity and inclusion, culturally appropriate care and health care equity
• Employee Resource Groups for female, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern, African American, Gen-Y, caregivers and LGBT employees
• Recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality”
• An active supplier diversity program with more than 300 minority suppliers in its database.

The 2017 list ranked 12 health systems and hospitals:

  1. Mount Sinai Health System (New York City)


  2. Henry Ford Health System (Detroit)


  3. Northwell Health (New Hyde Park, N.Y.)


  4. Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, Fla.)


  5. Cleveland Clinic


  6. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.)


  7. Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)


  8. Advocate Health Care (Downers Grove, Ill.)


  9. AtlantiCare (Atlantic City, N.J.)


  10. TriHealth (Cincinnati)


  11. Bon Secours Health System (Marriottsville, Md.)


  12. Truman Medical Centers (Kansas City, Mo.)

MEDIA CONTACT: Kim North Shine, 313-549-4995, [email protected]