Introducing the Department of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion - Equitas Health

Introducing the Department of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Where we started

In October 2020, Equitas Health hired our first ever Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Dr. Jasmine Marks. As a department of one, Dr. Marks laid out a strategic plan to support Equitas Health’s renewed commitment to provide an equitable workplace for all employees.

In her first year, Dr. Marks collaborated with Equitas Health’s Racial Advisory Council on Employee Equity Business Resource Group and the Human Resources, Compliance, and Finance departments to ensure the equity of our policies and procedures. These partnerships produced the agency’s first anti-racism policy, addressed bias in the personal appearance policy, and established a supplier diversity policy to support BIPOC-owned businesses.

She also implemented or supported meaningful and ongoing staff development. Through Dr. Marks’ anti-racism education trainings and the staff-led Honest Conversations webinars & anti-racism solidarity spaces, Equitas Health provided over 6,000 hours of training and development.

These gains would not have been possible without you. Your voices, support, and calls for accountability will help to ensure that Equitas Health will continue to know better, do better, and be better for everyone who works here and seeks our services.

Where we are now

Our growth as an organization has allowed the department to expand its strategic vision as the new Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. As the Senior Director of Equity, Dr. Marks and four program managers will build on this growth with these strategic directions:

  • Culture & Climate: a commitment to embedding anti-racism and cultural humility in all we do
  • Organizational Development: cultivating an organizational culture of learning and continuous strengths-based development
  • Recruitment, Retention, & Belonging: improving recruitment processes, building retention interventions, and prioritizing employee wellness & belonging
  • Health Equity: centering health equity in our practices

After an extensive and competitive search, Equitas Health has promoted an internal candidate to three of the four project manager positions. The department hopes to fund a fourth program manager of organizational development by January 2023.

Get to know our Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Senior Director of Equity
Dr. Jasmine C. Marks

Dr. Marks (she/her/hers) is an expert equity and justice practitioner. Her work prioritizes the support and empowerment of minoritized stakeholders, transforming organizational culture, and cultivating inclusive education, policies, and practices. She holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Studies from The Ohio State University, a Master’s in Teaching & Learning, and a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, singing, and travelling.

Program Manager of Culture & Climate
Tea Brown

Tea Brown (they/them/theirs) is a trusted advocate for change within and outside of the organization. They have built connections agency-wide with their work on the RACE BRG and Strategic Plan. Tea is excited to create even more opportunities for employees to feel heard, uplifted, and encouraged. A parent to a cute dog and an even cuter kid, they enjoy reading science fiction, writing and performing poetry, and reading tarot.

Program Manager of Health Equity
Dominique Shepherd

Dominique Shepherd (she/her/hers) will center her work on integrating health equity best practices organization-wide through quarterly reporting and evidence-based staff and patient support. Dominique received her Master’s in Public Health from Benedictine University. She is also a member of the Delta Omega Honor Society for Public Health. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new places, spinning, and trying new foods.

Program Manager of Recruitment, Retention, & Belonging
Cormac “Cort” McKenzie

Cormac “Cort” McKenzie (he/him/his) has a passion for creating supportive and sustainable communities, political action, and cultivating knowledge through mutual aid, consensus building, and direct action. He received his Masters of Social Work from The Ohio State University where he also completed post-graduate work in Political Economics and Institutions.  Cort is a cat dad and enjoys sarcasm, photography, painting, being outdoors, and living his life authentically according to his values.