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Broadlawns Medical Center introduces new DEI position

Renee Hardman, the first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, hopes to improve the health care underserved people in the area receive.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Broadlawns Medical Center is now tackling issues of diversity, equity and inclusion head-on, with its first DEI officer guiding the hospital starting in June. 

Renee Hardman, the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, said this position is one she's excited about having.

"My role is to work with the executive team and the CEO of this organization, Dr. Anthony Coleman, and help to really dive deeply into ways that we can make an impact," Hardman said.

Since Hardman joined the Broadlawns team, she has been trying to meet as many coworkers as possible in order to foster a comfortable, inclusive work environment. 

Hardman said some of her goals in her new position is to increase diversity within the staff as well as elevating current employees to positions they haven't had before.

RELATED: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa CEO steps down for role at Broadlawns

According to an email from Human Resources Director Lindsay Fett, 73% of the hospital staff identifies and White/Caucasian, while 27% of people identify as people of color.

For Hardman, having the staff diversity mirror the population they serve is important.

"We are a place where folks of color can work here, and not just at lower levels but even at executive level suites," Hardman said.

Hardman also said one of the most important aspects of her new role is to help improve the healthcare underserved populations receive. 

"We want to focus on making sure that these individuals, as important as they are in our community, have equal access with limited barriers to helping them overcome some of their health challenges," Hardman said.

The CEO and president of Broadlawns Anthony Coleman said having a DEI officer is important to their medical center, especially as their it grows.

"We can make sure that our services match the needs of the community, have some culturally sensitive, compassionate services," Coleman said.

As Hardman grows with this role, she said the key to success will be to "listen, learn and lead."


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