Board Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competency

A Resource Library

Articles & Publications
Webinars & Videos
Board Exercises
Suggested Readings


The resources within this library are provided to educate trustees on the value of promoting diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency on your boards and across your hospitals and health systems.

This library features topical articles, videos, webinars, and toolkits to help trustees generate board discussion and advance efforts to improve board diversity and organizational awareness. In addition, case studies show trustees how diversity goals can and have been achieved.

Improved board and organizational diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency are key to New York’s hospitals and health systems’ work to address the social and economic factors that shape the health of their communities, reduce health disparities, and achieve the best possible health for everyone.

HTNYS supports diversity and inclusion and is thankful for the leadership and work of its Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Have feedback on our library, or know of additional resources we should consider? We’d love to hear from you! Please send all questions and comments to Kristen Phillips .

Articles & Publications

Healthier, More Equitable Communities: Leading the Way on Population Health Management, governWell

Exploring Strategies to Improve Health and Equity in Rural Communities, NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis

Linking Quality & Equity, Advancing Health Equity

Advancing Health Equity, American Public Health Association

“Taking Action on Board Diversity: Five Questions to Get You Started” Boardsource, 2020
At the most fundamental level, who serves on a board impacts how it functions and the decisions it makes.

“Where is Race on Your Board’s Recruitment Agenda?” Boardsource, 2020
To succeed in an increasingly diverse world, nonprofit organizations need to remain relevant and connected to the communities they serve.

“Early Learnings from the Hospital Community Cooperative of the American Hospital Association, 2020” RAND Corporation, July 2020
Health is increasingly understood to be shaped by more than individual genetics, clinical care, and health behavior.

“Trustee Insights: Addressing the Social Determinants of Health” American Hospital Association, 2019
Making a correct diagnosis and developing a plan of care are health care’s traditional responsibilities.

“Trustee Insights: Recruiting Millennials to the Hospital Board” American Hospital Association, 2019
The effectiveness of hospital boards is a major factor in the success of the organization. “Good governance” requires boards to provide informed and independent input in the hospital’s strategies and performance assessment

“Board Best Practices Series: Conflicts and Biases” Driving Board Excellence, 2019
Corporate governance provides foundational integrity that supports an effectively managed organization. Excellent governance requires skill, insight, and informed, objective decision-making.

“Addressing the Social Determinants of Health” AHA Trustee Services, November 2019
Social determinations of health are the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live work and age, and the systems put into place to deal with illness.

“A New Model for Equity of Care” AHA Trustee Services, October 2019
Increasing diversity in health care leadership and eliminating care disparities are critical to ensuring high-quality care for all.

“Social Determinants of Health: Primer for Healthcare Trustees” HTNYS, May 2019

“Addressing the Social Determinants of Mental Health: If Not Now, When? If Not Us, Who?” PsychiatryOnline, June 2018
This column discusses how social determinants are key factors in the development, severity, and chronic nature of mental and substance use disorders and how changing policy and social norms can have impact.

“The Social Determinants of Mental Health,” American Psychiatric Publishing, January 2015
This scholarly, clinical, and policy-related work examines social determinants that impact our mental health and well-being. The book focuses on topics such as discrimination and social exclusion; adverse early life experiences; education; poverty; food insecurity; and access to care.

“Becoming a Culturally Competent Health Care Organization,” Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence, 2013
Explore the benefits of becoming a culturally competent organization, steps hospitals and health systems can take to achieve this competence, guidelines for educating and training staff, and case studies providing examples of success.

“Diversity: Crossing the Comfort Zone,” The Governance Institute, 2011
Dr. Linda Brady, the first female, physician, and gentile president and CEO of Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center (KJMC), discusses the measures taken to persuade her board and organization to embrace cultural diversity. KJMC transformed its organization by diversifying both its board and staff and by making diversity part of the fabric of the organization.

“Eliminating Disparities: Why It’s Essential and How to Get It Done,” Institute for Diversity in Health Management and Association of American Medical Colleges, 2008
Explore examples from the field, a board action checklist, and additional tools that assist hospitals and health systems in aligning quality improvement goals with disparities solutions.

Webinars & Videos

The Board’s Role in Health Equity Initiatives [PDF Slides], HTNYS Webinar, 2020

“Implicit Bias,” TEDxFlourCity, 2014
In this 16-minute video, Melanie Funchess, Director of Community Engagement, Mental Health Association of Rochester/Monroe County, examines ‘implicit bias”—attitudes and stereotypes that unconsciously effect behavior—and offers action steps to help create equity.

“Seeing White,” Center for Documentary Studies’ (Duke University) Scene on Radio, 2017
“Seeing White,” a 14-part podcast series, examines the concept and reality of “whiteness” in America and explores what it means to be white. The series includes scholarship by historians and answers questions such as, “From where did we get our notions of distinct human ‘races’ and of the ‘white’ race, in particular?”

“Why Corporate Governance Matters: Board Diversity,” CalSTRS, 2014
In this 2.5-minute video, Harry Keiley, then-Chair of the CalSTRS Teachers’ Retirement Board, offers an introduction into the benefits of a diverse board and how the advancement of board diversity creates long-term value.


Health Equity: Key Concepts and Terms, governWell

Reducing Disparities Best Practices Table, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

AHA/IFDHE: #123forEquity Pledge and Health Equity Toolkit, AHA Institute for Diversity & Health Equity

“Inclusion Starts With I," Sujata Chaudhry, Founder &CEO, Tangible Development, 2018
Action steps trustees can take to become a more inclusive board.

“Strategies for Leadership: A Diversity, Equity and Cultural Competency Assessment Tool for Leaders,” American Hospital Association, Institute for Diversity in Health Management, and National Center for Healthcare Leadership, 2017
This guide provides an assessment checklist healthcare leaders can use to evaluate the equity, diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency of their organization. It includes action steps that can be used to raise awareness within an organization and case studies of leading practices.

“Equity of Care: A Toolkit for Eliminating Health Care Disparities,” American Hospital Association, Institute for Diversity in Health Management, and Equity of Care, 2015
This resource includes toolkits, strategic guides, and case studies to increase the collection and use of race, ethnicity, and language (REAL) preference data, increase cultural competency training, and increase diversity at the leadership and governance levels.

Board Exercises

Wrestling with Board Dilemmas: Is Your Board’s Composition Representative of the People It Serves?
Boardsource, 2020

The waiting room of the 15th Street Clinic was crowded with patients in various states of health and sickness.

Case Study Worksheet. Boardsource, 2020

Suggested Readings

Books and resources that address relevant and broader societal issues for context and deeper understanding.

Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, Afua Hirsch, 2018
Brit(ish) is about a search for identity and the everyday racism that plagues British society. Hirsch discusses that Britain is a nation in denial about its past and present and issues a call for change.

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, Brené Brown, 2017
In her book, social scientist Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W., redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. She sparks a global conversation about experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Racial and Ethnic Differences in Access to and Use of Healthcare Services, 1977 to 1996, Robin M. Weinick, 2000
Weinick’s article focuses on racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare, describing differences in access to care and the use of health services among whites, blacks, and Hispanics from 1977 to 1996.

That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together, Joanne Lipman, 2018
Anecdotes, data from recent studies, and stories from Lipman’s journey to the top of a male-dominated industry show how to transform the way we work together by reaching across the gender divide. That’s What She Said shows why empowering women as true equals is an essential goal for women and men—and offers a roadmap for getting there.