Human Resources | News Article

Monday, November 20, 2017

Center for Diversity: Building a culture of respect at Mountain States

In a world that often seems to be growing more divisive, Mountain States Health Alliance wants to create a culture of respect and inclusion. This applies to how we treat our patients and their families as well as how we treat each other as team members.

“It takes all of us to do this,” said Gary Metcalf, corporate director for spiritual health. “It’s important to have respect for diversity, especially as we seek to provide patient-centered care.”

With this mission in mind, Mountain States has created a Center for Diversity, which can be found on the left side of the Pulse page under “Departments.” We also have a Diversity Council to address the needs and concerns of team members in our workforce, and an online process for registering a diversity concern.



The Center for Diversity web page includes resources for different languages, education about religious beliefs that can affect how we provide patient care, and a calendar for different holidays and celebrations of religions. A community event site is also being developed to post different community celebrations, festivals, conferences and classes.

“Our Center for Diversity and our Diversity Council are set up to embrace an environment where inclusion is valued and where people respect each other as individuals,” Metcalf said. “We appreciate our differences and similarities; they enable us to better serve our patients, one another and our communities. We recognize that diversity brings new solutions to an ever-changing environment and we are definitely in an ever-changing environment.”



The Center for Diversity also houses the Mountain States Health Diversity Concern Registry, where a team member can register a diversity concern. This is when a team member feels he or she has been dismissed or demeaned because of race, gender, age, ability levels or other reasons. Once the concern is registered, it can be determined if education or special counsel is needed.

“I hope team members will realize we have a site where anyone who feels disenfranchised or that they have been the victim of prejudice can share their concerns,” Metcalf said.



Education from the Center for Diversity includes a new course entitled “Building a Culture of Respect” being offered through Organizational Development and as part of the Impact Series at Johnson City Medical Center.

The course offers lectures, personal assessments and participatory case studies so team members, physicians, volunteers, and students can help create a work environment that is sensitive, caring and respectful. The class is open to all team members.

The upcoming dates for the class are:

  • Dec. 20, 2017, 10-11:30 a.m., JCMC Auditorium 1
  • Dec. 20, 2017, 2-3:30 p.m., JCMC Auditorium 1
  • Jan. 11, 2018, 2-3:30 p.m., JCMC Auditorium 1
  • April 12, 2018, 2-3:30 p.m., JCMC Auditorium 1
  • July 12, 2018, 1-2:30 p.m., JCMC Auditorium 1
  • Oct. 11, 2018 2-3:30 p.m., JCMC Auditorium 1

The classes are built in TEDS and available for team members to register. To find the class, search for key word “impact” and choose “Impact: Building a Culture of Respect,” then register for the session that best fits your schedule.

For more information, call 423-302-1572.


Metcalf said it’s important to realize diversity is part of life, and it’s good for us.

“Diversity is part of the natural order of life; our lives are filled with variety,” Metcalf said. “Our workforce is diverse. We have different ages, colors, races, religious beliefs, genders, sexual orientation and ethnicities. Research shows diversity actually helps us. It makes us more innovative, creative, diligent and hard-working. So we should embrace it.”