Meeting the needs of staff, patients, and the community through diversity and inclusion

By Cynthia Bass, MBA, CDM  |  Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Erie County Medical Center

Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion and is a sponsor of the upcoming Diversity & Inclusion Symposium, hosted by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. 

The ECMC Office of Diversity and Inclusion is focused on providing strategic leadership embracing equality, respect, achieving cultural proficiency, and valuing the differences of all people. ECMC is committed to creating an inclusive organizational culture for patients, employees, vendors, and the community.

When you think about diversity, you think about any dimension that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another: personalities, skills, qualities, life experiences, education, and competencies. You might also think about a respect for and an appreciation of differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion.

But it’s more than that. Diversity brings together diverse perspectives, work experiences, lifestyles, and cultures that are necessary for innovation and growth. As part of the core values of the ECMC Corp., we recognize the importance and value of diversity and the enrichment that diversity can bring to an organization.

Imagine a world without cultural diversity in healthcare. We would lose the ability to provide care to patients with diverse values, beliefs, and behaviors, including the ability to tailor health care delivery to meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of our patients. Diversity is needed in healthcare. I believe that we must focus our efforts where they will have the most impact. We need to embrace the differences we bring to ensure a diverse workforce and to reflect and enrich the community we serve. By embracing cultural diversity in healthcare, we improve the overall quality of care.

“Diversity and inclusion are about giving value to every human being, no matter our differences.”

My role is to elevate diversity as a strategic priority for the ECMC Corp. through developing, implementing, and communicating initiatives such as cultural diversity awareness, increasing patient and employee engagement, and providing training that speaks to the heart of ECMC’s Culture of Care. I am also tasked with collaborating with internal and community leaders to promote cultural sensitivity and inclusion throughout the organization.

ECMC is a proud sponsor of the upcoming Diversity & Inclusion Symposium. I encourage you to take the opportunity to attend and learn about the importance of diversity and inclusion initiatives and how they can bring value to you, your organization, and the community. The Symposium is also a great opportunity to meet and learn from those who are already doing this important work in their organization.

Monday, June 10, 2019
7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
153 Franklin Street | Buffalo, NY 14202

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To demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusion, ECMC appointed Cynthia Bass as Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in May 2018. Cynthia joined Erie County Medical Center in 2011 as a Benefits Analyst in the Human Resources Department. In 2015, she became ECMC’s Human Resources Business Partner. Cynthia holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Medaille College and a Certification in Diversity Management from the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association.