NHPCO's suggestions for a successful diversity plan

The National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) of Alexandria, VA, is developing a diversity toolkit to assist hospices with their efforts to diversify their patient population.

The preview toolkit includes these suggestions of measures to increase the success of an agency's diversity plan:

1. Know your community. Who are the respected leaders? What are the community's strengths and needs? Go to the community for answers.

2. Be cautious in rolling out a mandatory cultural competence initiative. That could lead to resentment, poor adherence to policies and superficial responses by staff. Instead, gradually infuse cultural proficiency into the organization's culture.

3. Employ a manager of cultural proficiency to emphasize and help organize the commitment to diversity throughout the organization.

4. Establish a cultural diversity advisory board that includes representatives from the organization as well as the community to help guide the delivery of culturally competent care.