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Commitment to Diversity

What is Diversity at East Tennessee Children's Hospital?

Diversity is characteristics that make us who we are as people. At Children’s Hospital, diversity is not just ethnicity or race. The chart below represents many aspects of diversity. Personality at the center of the wheel represents who you are. Internal Dimensions are the part of you usually most permanent or visible. External Dimensions represent things that influence you and are acquired and may change over the course of a lifetime. Organizational Dimensions are elements that have influence over your thoughts and behaviors in the workplace. Combinations of all of these dimensions influence our values, beliefs, behaviors, experiences , and expectations and make us all unique as individuals.

Diversity Wheel

Diversity and Inclusion Council

The Diversity and Inclusion Council is made up by a steering committee and inclusion ambassadors throughout the hospital. Our vision is that the work and care environment at Children’s Hospital is one where everyone feels respected, welcomed, and supported. Our mission is to accomplish our purpose through focusing efforts on awareness and education, policies and procedures, resources, and insight regarding diversity, inclusion, and culturally competent care to all involved in the ETCH care community.

  • Steering Committee
    • Strategy and Goals
    • Plan Events
    • Meet Monthly
  • Ambassadors
    • Eyes and ears for real issues and stories
    • Implement strategies, goals and events from steering
    • Meet once a quarter
  • Staff
    • Attend events
    • Learn why diversity and inclusion matter in daily practice
    • Change non-inclusive practices

The council works together to discover and deliver ways to make our hospital a more inclusive place.

Inclusion Initiatives

Children’s Hospital’s inclusion initiatives include:

  • Targeted racial inclusion strategy
  • Transgender taskforce
  • Sensory processing program
  • Project Search
  • Employed interpreters
  • LGBTQ benefits for married couples
  • Basic Spanish classes for frontline staff
  • Shoes for schools
  • Career development workshops for under-represented populations
  • Annual Diversity and Inclusion education days (see below)
  • Awareness and education through events and bulletins


The Arc: Tennessee’s Agency of Distinction award (The Arc is the nation’s largest and leading organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families with a 60 year history of promoting and protecting the rights of people with I/DD and providing them the opportunity to live full, satisfying and self-determined lives as valued and contributing members of their communities.)

Diversity Sites for Job Postings

Children’s Hospital also posts career listings on websites focused on diversifying workplaces. Populations represented by these websites include veterans, African Americans, Asians, Latino/a, LGBTQ+, women, and those with disabilities.

Annual Diversity and Inclusion Education Days

For a number of years, East Tennessee Children's Hospital has set aside several days to pay special attention to, and provide educational opportunities for, promoting diversity and inclusion in our hospital. Recent topics include:

  • Virtual Inclusion Event - Breaking down silos, learning about others’ roles, and what helps them feel included at work.
  • Inclusion Week Employee Focus - Finding out what employees have in common. Celebrating what makes employees unique.
  • "The Battle of Bias" - Discussing biases in relation to culture groups, addiction, deaf/hard of hearing, LGBTQ+ and neuro-diverse populations. An educational session was also presented by our community partner, The Change Center in East Knoxville.
  • “To help me, you have to know who I am” - Focusing on getting to know people in order to best take care of their needs.
  • “We think we give good care so why don’t they?” - Highlighting, supporting, adapting, and modifying behaviors to meet the care needs of our patients and families.
  • “Looking at life in a new way” - Examining the perspectives of people who may be different than some of us, so we can learn how to improve the respect and empathy with which they are treated.
  • “Initial Diversity Day Event” - Introduced the Diversity and Inclusion Council and focused on getting to know other countries and cultures that we see at the hospital.

Staff education also includes:

  • Posting bulletin boards in the hallway.
  • Adding multiple informational articles on ETCHnet, the hospital's Internal website, every year on subjects such as cultural holidays, specific patient populations and how all of us have unique qualities that contribute to this organization.

Inclusion Resources

Everyone is Welcome at East Tennessee Children's Hospital

Everyone is welcome at East Tennessee Children's Hospital, from patients to parents to visitors, staff and physicians.

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