Keck Medicine of USC’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, Shannon Bradley, MBA, says that her mission for health equity is personal.
Everyone deserves compassionate, high-quality health care.
This principle guides my role as chief diversity and inclusion officer at Keck Medicine of USC, where I work collaboratively with teams across the organization to make our services more accessible and equitable for people of all backgrounds.
The mission is personal. As a single Black mother, I attended college later in life while working two part-time jobs. I couldn’t afford private health insurance, but I earned too much to qualify for Medicaid.
The experience inspired my career dedication to finding ways to improve access and equity in medicine.
Representation is a critical step. A 2019 study in the Journal of the National Medical Association, for example, found racial health disparities decreased when health care staffs are more diverse.
Another study, published in 2020 in JAMA Network Open, found that patients are more satisfied when their provider shares similar demographic and cultural characteristics as them.
At Keck Medicine, we are committed to inclusivity through educational efforts such as bias, vocabulary and cultural intelligence training.
We’re also developing strategies to recruit and retain a workforce that meets the needs of Greater Los Angeles, where more than 200 languages are spoken, and socioeconomic gaps can impact access to care.
Our work can change lives; it is a privilege we don’t take lightly. Prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion at every step helps ensure that every patient and community will benefit.