Vibra Healthcare Launches Diversity Talks Program

Hospital Leadership Teams Reflect on Their Experience

In early 2021, Vibra Healthcare’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council led the development and deployment of Diversity Talks—an interactive program designed to encourage awareness, training, and conversation around DEI topics. Council members had a vision of creating an organization-wide learning community so that Vibra employees coast-to-coast could concurrently engage in educational activities and focused discussions. As a result, they launched Diversity Talks. Diversity Talks serves as a platform for the council to share identified resources, drive meaningful conversations, and promote a shared awareness and engagement level across the organization.

Council members kicked off the program by coordinating a book-club-style learning experience featuring “What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits of Culturally Effective People” by Vernā Myers. With its engaging, easily digestible format and pages of thought-provoking content, the council found Myers’ handbook to be the perfect foundation for the inaugural Diversity Talks activity.

Vibra Healthcare hospital leaders across the country dove into the book and sought to complete a five-session educational series. Each session featured a specific reading assignment followed by a guided discussion. Discussion moderators led their peers in conversation around implicit bias, inclusion, equity, and seeing the humanity in others.

The Southern Indiana Rehabilitation Hospital leadership team was the first to complete the activities, which proved impactful for all involved. Diana Chavis, the hospital’s CEO, reflected, “As each person told their stories, more would open up about theirs. Everyone had a story to tell. We learned so much about each other, and we developed a bond that would not have formed without this exercise.”

“We as a leadership team should be devoted to engaging our people and embracing our diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives,” Chavis added. “We learn from one another and build each other up so that everyone is empowered to be their most successful self.”

Frank Schneider, CEO of Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital, also led his team in completing the Diversity Talks sessions. On the topic of encouraging others to get started with an activity like this, he added, “Conversations were hard to start at first. After each session, though, the topics became easier to talk about more openly. The leadership team showed growth and felt that we gained knowledge on the topics and more insight into ourselves as well. It was a positive experience for all.”

Vibra Healthcare’s DEI Council continues to focus on developing the Diversity Talks program. Council members are currently seeking new resources and planning learning activities for the current year.

To learn more about “What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits of Culturally Effective People” by Vernā Myers, please visit The Vernā Myers Company’s website.