Henry Ford's accomplishments, commitment to diversity recognized again in national rankings

May 13, 2020
DiversityInc. 2020 Top Hospitals

DETROIT - After more than a decade of being recognized as a national role model in supporting a diverse, inclusive workplace, Henry Ford Health System has again been named to DiversityInc.’s annual list of top hospitals & health systems. Henry Ford was also named a top company for supplier diversity.


Henry Ford ranked #2 on the 2020 list of Top Hospitals and Health Systems. Northwell Health in New York ranked #1. Henry Ford came in #4 out of 15 on the list of Top Companies for Supplier Diversity after Hilton, Sodexo & Dow.


“We are honored to be recognized once again. We applaud every hospital, health system and company and thank them for their work and success around of diversity, equity and inclusion in workplaces,” said Kimberlydawn Wisdom, M.D., M.S., Senior Vice President of Community Health & Equity and Chief Wellness and Diversity Officer at Henry Ford.It reinforces our decades-long belief that promoting diversity, equity and inclusion across our workforce translates to better care for our patients and better connections with the community we serve. It also translates to a smarter business overall.”


What’s additionally meaningful about the recognition is the opportunity to connect with other organizations on the list, said Wisdom who accepted the award in a virtual ceremony attended by more than 1,300 guests May 6.


“It’s important we learn from each other, continue to improve, continue our commitment to fostering diverse, welcoming, understanding organizations as a starting point for improvements in healthcare, in our communities and in our society as a whole,” she said.


Henry Ford has ranked in the Top 5 of the annual list since at least 2009, including three years at #1 and three years at #2. This year’s list named nine organizations instead of the usual 10 as no more than nine among the hundreds of applicants met the qualifications, according to DiversityInc.. The New Jersey-based online publication seeks to educate companies about the importance of diversity through information- and best-practices sharing that includes an emphasis on diversity's connection to customer satisfaction and financial performance. This year's ranking was based on DiversityInc.’s 200-question survey. Metrics are built around six key areas: Leadership accountability, human capital diversity metrics, talent programs, workforce practices, supplier diversity and philanthropy.


Wright L. Lassiter, III, President and CEO of Henry Ford Health System, said diversity, equity and inclusion is an “awesome responsibility” and something that he and Henry Ford Health System has prioritized and worked deliberately to weave into every part of the organization.


“At Henry Ford, we are so fortunate to have a richly diverse group of team members and customers, each with unique backgrounds and experiences that help to shape us as an organization. It is through our appreciation of these differences, that our bonds and connections with each other are strengthened,” he said.


Last year, Lassiter signed on as a member of CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.


In February, Henry Ford’s leaders participated in exercises in unconscious bias and plans are underway for further engagement on the topic while new and longstanding programs, policies, projects and events continue.


“We’ve been down the diversity and inclusion path for a long time,” Lassiter said. “We’ve tried to create an environment that would make us a better company and would make our company a better place for people to be themselves,” he said. “What we find out is the more we have conversations, the more we learn. In some cases, the more progress we make the more we find that there’s still much more road ahead of us.”


DiversityInc seeks out organizations that demonstrate best practices in: employee resource group participation, manager participation in cross-cultural mentoring, executive diversity councils setting goals tied to executive compensation and educating and mentoring diverse suppliers. The ranking is meant to provide role models for other companies to follow. Some of the many Henry Ford initiatives include:

  • Adapting human resources practices to increase hiring from within the Detroit community
  • Number employee and community programs and research initiatives to address racial disparities and social determinants of health.

  • System-wide Healthcare Equity Campaign, focused on raising awareness, improving cross cultural communication, and integrating changes into system policies.

  • Multiple training opportunities for health system leaders and team members in health care equity, culturally appropriate care, and diversity and inclusion topics including Unconscious Bias training

  • Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for women, veterans, caregivers, individuals living with a disability, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern, African American, Millennials, and LGBTQ team members.

  • A supplier diversity program nationally recognized for fostering the growth of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses

  • Institute on Multicultural Health (IOMH) is working to develop effective and innovative approaches to providing quality healthcare to underrepresented racial and ethnic populations who are disproportionately affected by serious and chronic medical conditions

  • The Multicultural Dermatology Clinic specializing in hair, tissue, and skin treatment for patients from diverse ethnicities.

  • Recognized multiple times as a Leader in LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

  • The health system also has a very active supplier diversity program and more than 300 minority suppliers in its database.

DiversityInc’s 2020 complete list of hospital and healthcare systems:

1. Northwell Health
2. Henry Ford Health System
3. Cleveland Clinic
4. WellStar Health System
5. H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
6. OhioHealth
7. Mayo Clinic
8. Yale New Haven Health System
9. NYU Langone Health

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

About Henry Ford Health System:

Under the leadership of President and CEO Wright Lassiter, III, Henry Ford Health System is a $6.5 billion integrated health system comprised of six hospitals, a health plan, and 250+ sites including medical centers, walk-in and urgent care clinics, pharmacy, eye care facilities and other healthcare retail.


Established in 1915 by auto industry pioneer Henry Ford, the health system has 32,000 employees and remains home to the 1,900-member Henry Ford Medical Group, one of the nation’s oldest physician groups. An additional 2,200 physicians are also affiliated with the health system through the Henry Ford Physician Network.


Henry Ford is also one of the region’s major academic medical centers, receiving nearly $100 million in annual research funding and remaining Michigan’s fourth largest NIH-funded institution. Also an active participant in medical education and training, the health system has trained nearly 40% of physicians currently practicing in the state and also provides education and training for other health professionals including nurses, pharmacists, radiology and respiratory technicians.