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.
When system CEO Dr. Richard Vath asked Hunter M. Richardson to be the executive sponsor and champion for our health system’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work following the events sparked by the murder of George Floyd, Richardson did not hesitate to say yes. Richardson is our chief human resources officer, a role he’s held since August 2019, and he’s worked in various capacities within our ministry for 25 years.
“I love doing this work,” Richardson says. “From a personal perspective, I have had my own journey in life where I was treated differently because of who I am.” Richardson says he’s always felt embraced by the FMOLHS organization. That embracing has helped him see the opportunity to help others fit into the ministry.
Whether we are celebrating Black history month, supporting our organization’s first social media acknowledgment of Pride or embracing uncomfortable conversations we’ve never had before, Richardson says he’s never been more proud of our organization. “We want to be all-inclusive and welcoming as part of our Catholic identity. We recognize the whole person.”
From a business and human resources perspective, DEI efforts make good sense. “It gives us the opportunity to specifically reach out to groups we didn’t historically focus on to create talent pipelines and invite those individuals to come work with us.”
Richardson encourages all team members to foster their curiosity within all spaces, including DEI. “When you’re curious, you’re self-reflecting, looking for information and processing it in an unbiased manner.”
A goal for DEI within our health system is to move toward the point where this work can become part of our culture and day-to-day work. “This isn’t a special project. This isn’t something that we can check a box and be done,” Richardson says. “This is a cultural change from a historical perspective, and everyone is on their own journey.”
As for his journey with DEI, Richardson says, “It’s an ever-evolving learning process. Really the key for me is that I’ll never be perfect, but I can be open and understanding and a continuous learner.”