Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health Institute Creates Executive Position to Lead Diversity Efforts

A Q&A with Linda Bradley, MD, about why it’s important

The Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health Institute at Cleveland Clinic has created the new position of Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion, and appointed Ob/Gyn Linda Bradley, MD, to the role.

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Dr. Bradley also serves as Director of the Fibroid and Menstrual Disorders Center and Director of Hysteroscopic Services, as well as institute Vice Chair.  In this Q&A with Consult QD, the Ob/Gyn leader discusses the importance of the diversity effort and what it means to her.

Why did the institute create this new position?

Dr. Bradley:  Every university, academic medical center and major business has a leader appointed to oversee efforts in diversity management for the entire enterprise. In health care, it has long been a direction, and the Joint Commission promotes it. Cleveland Clinic’s commitment to diversity has been recognized on The DiversityInc’s Top 12 Hospitals and Health Systems list.

However, it is far less common to have a diversity chair for an institute such as ours. We felt that as a leader in women’s health, we need to lead in this area too.

It’s important to be transparent about our intentions for diversity. I have found that the culture we create is the outcome of the leader. I thank Dr. Falcone (Tommaso Falcone, MD, Chair, Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health Institute) for his vision and opportunity provided to me.

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Since we announced this new effort, it has been like an invitation, and many people have accepted the invitation to become more inclusive. Many colleagues have volunteered to participate and provide fresh ideas, and are willing to help our diversity initiatives.

What are some of your goals as Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion?

Dr. Bradley: While we are doing well for our specialty in recruiting and retaining trainees and staff from underrepresented minorities in medicine, we still need and want to do better. We want to open opportunities at this great institution to an even more diverse blend of caregivers – representing every race, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, age and more. We truly believe that multiethnic, multicultural and multigenerational diversity strengthens Cleveland Clinic’s “fabric” and makes our family and culture richer. It also helps us relate better to our diverse patient population, and serving patients in the best possible way is and always will be our No. 1 priority.

How do you plan to accomplish these goals?

Dr. Bradley: I will be partnering with colleagues such as our institute’s residency and medical student program directors as well as administrators to create a more inclusive climate throughout our institute. That will involve developing best practices to recruit, develop and retain diverse talent among all of our caregivers — trainees, administration, nurses and staff.  I personally look forward to the additional mentorship opportunities this will present for senior staff members.

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We also will be sending institute representatives to various community, civic and professional meetings and conferences to recruit talent.

Diversity is vital to our success. We invite interested individuals to reach out to us, and we welcome inquiries from talented medical and administrative personnel at all levels who wish to join our dynamic, growing — and welcoming — team.