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Our Family Is Crazy
DEI During the COVID-19

Pandemic
By: Derek Fenwick
Date: May 14, 2020

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Corporate culture does not, nor should not, happen by accident. It should be rooted in one’s mission and deliberately cultivated in every single employee. We breathe it. We live it. And we are all equally responsible for it.

At Infinity Rehab, DEI is at the heart of creating a simply irresistible organization, and our culture is one of inclusion, respect, and welcomes for our patients, communities, and therapists. We do not tolerate discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality, culture, age, sexual orientation and identity, or veteran status. Diversity in our teams is to be celebrated and will galvanize the exceptional care we provide to an equally diverse patient population.

Diversity in representation is one part of the equation and only addresses demographics. Diversity alone cannot empower care providers with a sense of purpose and belonging. By accepting the responsibility to understand cultural identities, appreciating heterogeneity in our work environment, and recognizing how our own biases and assumptions affect our behavior, we can build cultural competency skills to promote positive and effective cross-cultural interactions. We must have cultural humility, to act in a way that expresses respect and openness to other aspects of cultural identities.

How do diversity, equity, and inclusion intersect with the recent COVID-19 pandemic? 

Throughout history, disease outbreaks with reported origins in countries other than our own have fueled racist and intolerant rhetoric and beliefs, marginalizing groups based on physical appearance and beliefs. In the case of COVID-19, media coverage, language, and word choice, and even government response have the capacity to perpetuate harmful and dangerous stereotypes. These stereotypes not only threaten various communities, but they can hinder appropriate responses to public health threats.

It is incumbent upon us – as leaders in our field – to move forward with positivity and care for our communities. While there have been reports of blatant racism worldwide in response to this global pandemic, far more common are indirect expressions of intolerance, or microaggressions.

Microaggressions are the kinds of remarks, questions, or indignities that communicate hostile or derogatory slights related to a person’s membership in a marginalized group. What makes these so disconcerting is that they are commonplace and occur casually, frequently, and often without any harm intended. Microaggressions have been termed “death by a thousand cuts.”

It can be tempting to ignore microaggressions, but evidence has shown that discrimination causes traumatic stress and depression, which consistently leads to negative health outcomes and increased rates of suicidal ideation. Consider learning to respectfully establish boundaries and build community in uncomfortable situations.

Example:

Inappropriate Comment: “I heard them talking about the ‘Chinese/Wuhan Virus’ on the news today.

 

 

Possible Response: “I’m sure you didn’t realize this, but when people refer to this virus as “the Wuhan Virus,” it is hurtful/offensive because it implies that particular groups of people are responsible for the damage. Instead, you could use the accepted name, coronavirus.”

Strategy: Separate intent from impact and offer an alternative.

Additionally, when you witness microaggressions being committed against others, it’s important to re-establish connection.

Example:

You witness a client stating to a co-worker: “I heard them talking about the Wuhan virus on the news today.”

Possible response to your co-worker: “I heard what was said to you earlier. I thought it was inappropriate and I just wanted to check in with you.”

Strategy: Lend support and remind the recipient that they are not alone.

Ready to step deeper into this space with your team? Try our new DEI toolkit activity called “Food for Thought.”

The events of the past few weeks have ushered in a deep sense of alarm and uncertainty. In the face of these fears, fostering a sense of safety and belonging starts with supporting each other, especially those in our community who are facing bias, discrimination, and attacks based on their identity.

We offer the following tips and resources to assist in keeping our communities safe by shifting our thoughts around COVID-19:

  • Practice empathy and deep listening instead of judgment as people share their concerns and realities.
  • Respond with grace and understanding for those who are dealing with disruptions in their household.
  • Diversify the resources you are reading or listening to learn about how this pandemic is impacting different individuals and communities.
  • Educate yourself about the history of discrimination towards different cultural communities as it relates to disease.
  • Strike down negative terms about the COVID-19 virus, such as references to the virus to particulate identities or ethnicities.
  • Keep in mind that COVID-19 is a global pandemic and staff or patients from other countries may not be able to safely return to their country of origin if here temporarily or may be unable to visit their families if the US is now their home country.
  • Acknowledge that diversity in our communities will help us rebuild stronger from this pandemic.

If you are experiencing or witness bias or discrimination, please contact Infinity Rehab HR, your area rehab director, or the Speak-Up Hotline at 800-568-1287 for support services. 

 


DEI During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Derek Fenwick
Date: May 14, 2020


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Corporate culture does not, nor should not, happen by accident. It should be rooted in one’s mission and deliberately cultivated in every single employee. We breathe it. We live it. And we are all equally responsible for it.

At Infinity Rehab, DEI is at the heart of creating a simply irresistible organization, and our culture is one of inclusion, respect, and welcomes for our patients, communities, and therapists. We do not tolerate discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality, culture, age, sexual orientation and identity, or veteran status. Diversity in our teams is to be celebrated and will galvanize the exceptional care we provide to an equally diverse patient population.

Diversity in representation is one part of the equation and only addresses demographics. Diversity alone cannot empower care providers with a sense of purpose and belonging. By accepting the responsibility to understand cultural identities, appreciating heterogeneity in our work environment, and recognizing how our own biases and assumptions affect our behavior, we can build cultural competency skills to promote positive and effective cross-cultural interactions. We must have cultural humility, to act in a way that expresses respect and openness to other aspects of cultural identities.

How do diversity, equity, and inclusion intersect with the recent COVID-19 pandemic? 

Throughout history, disease outbreaks with reported origins in countries other than our own have fueled racist and intolerant rhetoric and beliefs, marginalizing groups based on physical appearance and beliefs. In the case of COVID-19, media coverage, language, and word choice, and even government response have the capacity to perpetuate harmful and dangerous stereotypes. These stereotypes not only threaten various communities, but they can hinder appropriate responses to public health threats.

It is incumbent upon us – as leaders in our field – to move forward with positivity and care for our communities. While there have been reports of blatant racism worldwide in response to this global pandemic, far more common are indirect expressions of intolerance, or microaggressions.

Microaggressions are the kinds of remarks, questions, or indignities that communicate hostile or derogatory slights related to a person’s membership in a marginalized group. What makes these so disconcerting is that they are commonplace and occur casually, frequently, and often without any harm intended. Microaggressions have been termed “death by a thousand cuts.”

It can be tempting to ignore microaggressions, but evidence has shown that discrimination causes traumatic stress and depression, which consistently leads to negative health outcomes and increased rates of suicidal ideation. Consider learning to respectfully establish boundaries and build community in uncomfortable situations.

Example:

Inappropriate Comment: “I heard them talking about the ‘Chinese/Wuhan Virus’ on the news today.

 

 

Possible Response: “I’m sure you didn’t realize this, but when people refer to this virus as “the Wuhan Virus,” it is hurtful/offensive because it implies that particular groups of people are responsible for the damage. Instead, you could use the accepted name, coronavirus.”

Strategy: Separate intent from impact and offer an alternative.

Additionally, when you witness microaggressions being committed against others, it’s important to re-establish connection.

Example:

You witness a client stating to a co-worker: “I heard them talking about the Wuhan virus on the news today.”

Possible response to your co-worker: “I heard what was said to you earlier. I thought it was inappropriate and I just wanted to check in with you.”

Strategy: Lend support and remind the recipient that they are not alone.

Ready to step deeper into this space with your team? Try our new DEI toolkit activity called “Food for Thought.”

The events of the past few weeks have ushered in a deep sense of alarm and uncertainty. In the face of these fears, fostering a sense of safety and belonging starts with supporting each other, especially those in our community who are facing bias, discrimination, and attacks based on their identity.

We offer the following tips and resources to assist in keeping our communities safe by shifting our thoughts around COVID-19:

  • Practice empathy and deep listening instead of judgment as people share their concerns and realities.
  • Respond with grace and understanding for those who are dealing with disruptions in their household.
  • Diversify the resources you are reading or listening to learn about how this pandemic is impacting different individuals and communities.
  • Educate yourself about the history of discrimination towards different cultural communities as it relates to disease.
  • Strike down negative terms about the COVID-19 virus, such as references to the virus to particulate identities or ethnicities.
  • Keep in mind that COVID-19 is a global pandemic and staff or patients from other countries may not be able to safely return to their country of origin if here temporarily or may be unable to visit their families if the US is now their home country.
  • Acknowledge that diversity in our communities will help us rebuild stronger from this pandemic.

If you are experiencing or witness bias or discrimination, please contact Infinity Rehab HR, your area rehab director, or the Speak-Up Hotline at 800-568-1287 for support services. 

 

© 2019 Avamere Family of Companies
© 2019 Avamere Family of Companies
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© 2019 Avamere Family of Companies