Enhancing our employees' diversity knowledge and cultural competence
Diversity awareness and training is provided for all Novant Health leaders and staff. We believe that this educational experience helps our employees become more aware of themselves and sensitive to our customers. Throughout the year, various learning forums such as staff meetings, workshops, retreats and Diversity Month celebrations enhance our employees' diversity knowledge and cultural competence.
Tools like the Cultural & Religious Competency Manual for Healthcare Professionals were developed by Diversity Action Committee staff for Novant employees. Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) is another learning tool available to physicians, nurses and other employees.
Same-sex domestic partner benefits are available to employees. And our equal opportunity statement and policies include sexual orientation: "Novant Health does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or age with regard to admission, treatment or participation in its programs, services and activities, or in employment."
Work-life benefits and mentoring programs are provided for our staff. We believe that our health system's greatest asset is our staff. And we invest in their professional development, work-life balance and overall well-being.
Novant Health facilities and staff have a strong history or adopting needy families over the holidays and during a crisis, providing them with food, clothing, personal care items and basic appliances. For instance, one of our hospitals adopted 107 families in between Thanksgiving and New Year's. As another example, one of our hospital cardiology teams sent some holiday cheer to the Middle East when its staff adopted a medical platoon of about 35 soldiers stationed in Iraq. Employees collected a huge spread of items ranging from candy and beef jerky to bar soap and antibiotic ointment and shipped the care package to arrive just in time for the holidays.
Healthcare for Haiti
A Novant Health Prince William Medical Center medical team made up of physicians and nurses travels annually to Haiti on a humanitarian mission trip. They provide care at a small medical clinic in Thomassique. Medical Missionaries, a nonprofit charitable organization, maintains the clinic founded by Gilbert Irwin, M.D., an internal medicine physician on Prince William Medical Center's medical staff. In addition, Novant Health answered the international call for help in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake with a donation of 57 pallets of medical supplies, equipment, medicine and masks. Employees in Winston-Salem manned the phones for a local telethon, more than 70 employees and physicians from across the system volunteered their services should there be a call for medical professionals, and Novant Health Gaffney Medical Center joined the South Carolina Hospital Association in donating medications and supplies. The foundations at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center became employee donation sites that collected paid-time-off-converted-to-cash (PTO) and cash contributions, which were given to the American Red Cross for Haiti relief efforts.
Habitat for Humanity homes
Novant Health solicited feedback from its employees on how to best celebrate the healthcare system's tenth anniversary in 2008. The organization chose the option that its employees overwhelmingly recommended–give something to its communities. As a result, our healthcare system and staff built three Habitat for Humanity homes in celebration of our anniversary. We used the funds we would have spent on an anniversary party and instead purchased lumber, nails, glass, paint and all the supplies to help create a new future for three deserving families of our communities: one home in Brunswick County, one in Winston-Salem and the other in the Charlotte area.
Novant Health is very committed to supporting the many United Way agencies whose services touch one in three people in the communities we serve. In 2010, our health system and employees contributed $1.6 million to benefit local agencies including United Way. Our hospitals and clinics also choose to support other important community resources through unique employee campaigns such as Caring Beyond Our Walls.