Our health system has operationalized our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion work and created a report to share the impact of this foundational work. This team member profile and others share the story of these efforts and how their own impact is reflected in our work. We are committed to investing and improving to ensure diverse and inclusive environments where our patients, team members and communities can thrive.
Renada W. Deschamp, MPA, MCCT, is our DEI Integration Program Manager, and her passion for this work and the reasons why she said yes when asked to lead are similar to Tina Schaffer’s, specifically Deschamp’s children who are all neurodiverse.
“My daughter has severe cerebral palsy, my middle son has ADHD, and my youngest son is dyslexic,” Deschamp says. “As I looked at them and thought about their futures and the workforce they will go into, I wanted to ensure they are able to bring who God made them to be to whatever workplace they choose.”
Deschamp’s experiences with her children’s schools and wanting them to be heard, seen and included also drives her desire to take part in DEI efforts across our health system.
“I was once fearful of inclusion,” she says. When her daughter was in middle school her school shifted to inclusive learning. “This meant my nonverbal child had to sit in a classroom with children without disabilities for short periods of time during the school day.” While Deschamp worried that her daughter would be teased, the result was much different. The family went together to an eighth-grade dance.
“When we wheeled her in, I was surprised to realize that kids knew her name and a couple even took pictures with her. At eighth grade graduation the whole class cheered for her too,” Deschamp says. “Those moments changed my perspective. There is no need to fear inclusion. If I had let that fear move me, I would have robbed her of that sense of a broader community, and I also would have robbed the other children the opportunity to practice compassion.”
Children like Deschamp’s are the future leaders and team members of tomorrow’s organizations. “We have a responsibility to create brave spaces for learning, acceptance and growth for them,” she says.
In January 2022, Renada’s beloved daughter Kennedy passed away unexpectedly. We offer our prayers to her family and friends. Kennedy’s life remains an inspiration to our journey.