Paving the Way for Inclusivity and Access: Honoring the Past and Shaping the Future

Apr 1, 2024 | Team Member Spotlights

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Since joining our ministry as director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in November 2022, Asha Johnson has been instrumental in shaping the narrative of inclusivity and access within our health system. Her dedication extends beyond her professional commitment and is deeply personal.

Johnson’s commitment to workforce development and DEI is a fusion of her professional growth and the recognition that the work is inherently linked to the same goal – removing barriers to access. Growing up, Johnson experienced the impact of having barriers removed, a realization that propels her dedication to creating career pathways for others.

Johnson’s answer to “why DEI” is rooted in her personal journey and the legacy of those who cleared the way for her.

“I’m here today because there were countless people in my life that I can identify as having had a significant influence on my professional growth and the acceleration of my personal career journey,” she says. “One of my biggest reasons is to ‘pay it forward’ and to help pave paths for those who come behind me. It’s a very rewarding feeling to know that the work we do daily to build and sustain our talent pipelines have the potential to shift the future lives of our team members and their families.”

Johnson has witnessed the remarkable progress of our health system’s DEI journey.

“I think we’ve come a very long way in a very short amount of time,” Johnson says. “We are joined in this work by a team of workforce development intermediaries and partners from local academic institutions. Our DEI Council leaders also volunteer their time and play pivotal roles in the progression of this work.”

Johnson says the work of DEI never reaches a static finale. “The work never ends – there’s never an ‘OK we reached it’ moment,” she says. “The end game is that our efforts and our reach grow exponentially to our patient population and our team members. The goal is that all of God’s people feel included, as we are all made in his image. The goal is to ensure that barriers to access are removed and that everyone sees themselves and their humanity in each other and as an integral part of this work. Inclusivity and our ongoing commitment to removing barriers to access remain at the forefront of this vision for our health system, ensuring we continue to evolve as a beacon where all are welcome.”

Learn more about our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Interested in joining the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System team? Learn more here.

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