Wellstar Health System, one of the largest and most integrated health systems in Georgia, has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of 10 2021 Top Organizations for Diversity from across the nation. Wellstar is the only health system in Georgia included in the inaugural listing and was honored for demonstrating a commitment to workforce diversity, including leadership positions.

“Healthcare organizations widely promote their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts when they're first announced. But it's more important to track success and make sure those initiatives deliver on the long-term results the companies and communities they serve expect. This year, we increased the cadence of our diversity recognition program and expanded eligibility to include companies as a whole, as well as individuals,” said Modern Healthcare editor, Aurora Aguilar. “The 2021 class of Top Diversity Leaders lead the pack in healthcare. These are people and companies that exemplify ‘walking the walk.’”

This is the inaugural year for Modern Healthcare’s Top Organizations for Diversity awards, which recognize healthcare companies that are “bolstering the diversity of their workforces” at all levels.

"Wellstar is committed to fostering an inclusive culture and workforce that mirrors the communities we serve and celebrates our diversity," said Candice L. Saunders, president and chief executive officer, Wellstar Health System. “Some of our greatest impacts are a direct result of the diversity of our people: the incredible talent we attract, the daily contributions of our team members, the positive effects we create in our communities, and the programs, resources, and initiatives we implement as a leading healthcare provider. Being recognized as one of Modern Healthcare ten Top Organizations for Diversity honors not just what we do, but who we are."

Inclusion drives positive impact

Wellstar has a long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In

2020, Wellstar formally launched the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council to identify opportunities to grow and drive positive change for its communities, patients and team members. The Council holds regular listening sessions to ensure the voices of team members across the organization are heard and reflected in a connected cycle of feedback across the system. Every Wellstar facility and department is represented in Wellstar’s diversity efforts.

Nurturing a diverse workplace that mirrors its communities, approximately 81% of Wellstar’s employees are women, and just over half (51%) of the workforce is comprised of minorities. When it comes to ascension, 47% of Wellstar’s executives and 77% of frontline managers are women, while minority executives make up 21% of the workforce, with minorities in 38% of the frontline management roles.

Wellstar believes every person should have access to safe, high-quality healthcare and offers inclusive medical services across its System. In 2019, Wellstar opened a family medicine practice providing specialized health services to people who identify as LGBTQ+. Additionally, physicians are trained to talk about specific issues that the LGBTQ+ community may encounter and support patients through transition goals with gender-affirming care. Wellstar also employs native-language interpreters across the System to serve patients and their families, including a team of full-time Spanish interpreters, a Mandarin Chinese interpreter, as well as full-time Nationally Certified American Sign Language interpreters to support Deaf and hard-of-hearing patients and their families.

Health system acknowledged as employer of choice and diversity advocate

Wellstar is regularly recognized for diversity excellence, including accolades from Diversity MBA magazine, Diversity Best Practices, Working Mother/Working Father, and National Association for Executive Women (NAFE), among others. Wellstar recently received two awards exemplifying excellence that include Great Place to Work® and PEOPLE magazine’s 2021 PEOPLE Companies that Care®, and Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2021 Healthiest Employers. Wellstar has been recognized for outstanding diversity efforts and named in Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” and “Best Workplaces for Diversity.”