By: Russ Peal, CPRP
AAPPR Board Member
One of the highlights of my childhood growing up in Chicago was the Christmas season, especially spending time in the downtown area. Like thousands of others, I remember hopping on the “L-Train” and, once there with anticipation and excitement, visiting the many window displays for the major department stores: Lord & Taylor, Marshall Fields & Co., Carson Pirie Scott & Co., etc. along State Street and the Magnificent Mile (if you’re from the Midwest, you know!) These displays captured the imagination and ‘wow’ of Christmas – all the sights, sounds, and trappings were inescapable. Of course, the store’s goal was to ‘wow’ you enough at the window that you’d come inside. True to form, the window display didn’t come close to the grandeur one witnessed walking through the entire store once inside. I can feel the excitement like I’m there right now!
Over the last 18 months, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented level of national interest, attention, and action centered around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – particularly in the corporate/organization space. In fact, in a recent search, I noted over 20,000 vacant ‘Chief Diversity’ officer and similar manager positions in the U.S. alone. Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce has become priority #1. To succeed in this journey, the first question for organizations to ask is, “Does my organization represent my display window?” It’s a tough question and one that requires a great deal of courage. However, it is precisely the question that you – my physician and provider recruiting colleague – are uniquely qualified to influence and facilitate discussions as C-Suite decision-makers develop organizational strategies and action plans.
From this place of excitement, I invite you to become a part of the AAPPR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council! I’ve always believed the physician recruiter’s natural alignment with the C-Suite is paramount to organizational success, and let’s face it, there’s no one better to guide local D&I efforts than You! I presented the “display window” analogy in my organization, and it simply opened the door for meaningful dialogue that flowed from anxiety to awareness to action. These types of conversations can improve D&I in your local provider workforce and lead an exploration into matters related to healthcare access and equity. The spectrum for opportunity can potentially move your organization to reflect the community it serves!
As your own organization’s resident expert, your role is significant! It’s a principal aim of the AAPPR DEIAC to equip and empower our members to lead these efforts. I look forward to future discussion around productively partnering with your executive leadership to make the organization reflect its public-facing display!