Person-Centered Care Through the Lenses of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

May 31, 2023

The People Incorporated tapestry is quite intricate in nature. So many threads need to be carefully woven to provide our clients with treatment that honors their dignity and gives them compassion, respect, personalized/coordinated care, and a wide range of supports for developing strengths and abilities to live an independent and fulfilling life. Striving for person-centered care without looking through the lenses of equity, diversity, and inclusion would make for a colorless and ineffective tapestry.

People Incorporated’s equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts are led by a volunteer group of staff from a variety of programs who committedly contribute their ideas and talents as members of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee. Our main purpose is to participate in the creation of an organizational culture for clients, employees, and external communities that promotes a welcoming environment where every voice is valued, empowered, and included.

Our EDI committee was consolidated on September 2020 in response to the need for cementing EDI goals and prioritizing initiatives. The reality, however, is these values of equity, diversity, and inclusion have been embraced by People Incorporated for decades. They are deeply woven into our tapestry. An organization that leads by these values is making decisions that affect clients at all levels, every day, through these necessary lenses.

For instance, our talent acquisition efforts have increasingly focused on recruiting diverse staff for our programs, in recognition of the effectiveness of care when clients and practitioners share similar identities. This type of recruitment is no easy task in Minnesota, especially in the mental health field. This effort is continuously prioritized in our organization.

On a more internal level, People Incorporated is committed to providing equitable, diverse, and inclusive opportunities for our employees. From professional development, advancement, and training to the opportunity to create community through affinity groups called Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). They provide employees with support as well as networking and cultural learning opportunities that complement our Diversity Calendar. People Incorporated strives for and measures employee engagement and happiness at work. Because we are all woven into the same tapestry, a higher level of employee satisfaction may ultimately translate to more effective services for our clients and the community at large.

When a person of color seeking services is greeted by a practitioner who is a person of color themselves, to then be asked their pronouns and gender identity (as our intake software is equipped to do), this client is very likely to feel seen and accepted for who they are. These may seem like expected and default practices now, but they were not a few years ago. In the world of equity, diversity, and inclusion, there is much more to be done, and People Incorporated is doing its homework. An EDI Manual is in the works, as well as ongoing EDI training, to continue educating our workforce on how embracing these values will allow them to provide more effective and humanized person-centered care. As a result, clients, employees, and community members benefit from having a seat at the table while our intricate tapestry continues to be weaved with colorful threads of belonging, respect, and understanding.

Follow People Incorporated on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, & Twitter) to get real-time updates about our equity efforts within our organization and out in the community.

by Juliana Martinez Fajardo, EDI Coordinator at People Incorporated