Diversity, Health Equity & Inclusion

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You Belong at Baystate

Learn about careers at Baystate Health.

Our Commitment to Confronting Racism and Bias

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Baystate Health’s mission is to improve the health of the people in our communities every day, with quality and compassion. Confronting racism and bias behaviors is critical to achieving this mission. We recognized this years ago, launching our diversity, equity and inclusion journey in 2008. Since that time, we have continued to learn and grow. We are committed to examining our systems and behaviors to ensure they advance equity and shared prosperity. Download our 2022 report and see how we are tracking progress.

The work we do every day at Baystate Health is guided by core values of respect, integrity, teamwork and lifelong learning. We define our value of respect as honoring the dignity of all people. See our current projects below. 

Areas of Focus

As an anchor institution (an organization that has significant economic and social impact on our local area), Baystate Health is accountable to creating positive change in the communities we serve. Our three areas of focus are:

  • Reducing health disparities

  • Growing a more diverse workforce

  • Improving family prosperity in marginalized communities

Reducing Health Disparities

Many factors affect a person’s health, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. When certain health outcomes become more or less common among certain populations, there is a disparity (HealthyPeople.Gov).

We are committed to reducing health disparities by closely examining quality, safety and patient experience through an equity lens and making necessary changes in protocols and practices to improve equity.

Achieving Equity

A diverse workforce provides representation and leads to innovative thinking. We are committed to achieving equity in the hiring, promotion and retention of Black and Brown employees. Learn more about careers at Baystate Health.

Improving Family Prosperity

As an anchor institution, we are committed not only to the health and well-being of our communities, but also to strengthening and improving families' access to employment opportunities and economic prosperity. The Aspen Institute awarded Baystate Health a Family Prosperity and Innovation Grant that will help us with this initiative. 

Current Projects

Read below to learn about the work underway. 

Diversity Strategies & Structural Inclusion

DEI Dashboards and Self Reporting

In today’s world, data drives decisions and change. We are working to collect more specific race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity data for both Baystate Health employees and patients. This data helps us learn where we need to improve and track the progress of the changes we are making. Baystate Health has also signed on to a Health Equity Partnership with Press Ganey, the organizational partner for patient experience and employee experience measurement.

Structural Inclusion

A workgroup of more than 60 people across the organization stimulated changes to policies, practices and systems to remove barriers and advance equity. A new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion learning curriculum was launched, policies were redesigned, and employees were invited to share more accurate data about themselves. Specifically, Baystate Health made progress in increasing the number of Black and Hispanic/Latine leaders, providers, and direct care nurses to better reflect the community and will continue these efforts.

Dignity Model

Baystate Health adopted the Dignity Model, created by Donna Hicks, PhD to foster inclusion and improve team communication and engagement. We have adopted dignity language into Baystate Health’s values through the definition of Respect as honoring the dignity of all people. Baystate Health provides supportive programming in response to societal tensions due to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs, or other dimensions of diversity. We offer educational programming and coaching based on the Dignity Model throughout the year.

International Nurses

Baystate Health hired 49 international nurses as a result of an innovative recruiting program to address the acute local shortage of experienced RNs – a shortage the entire U.S. is facing. These highly skilled nurses bring diverse perspectives to the care of patients. They are contracted for two years through O’Grady Peyton International, our global workforce partner. When their contract ends, they have the option to join Baystate Health as permanent employees. The current retention rate is over 75% for 2022, which exceeds the national average. The nurses are working on various units across the organization, including Baystate Medical Center, Baystate Franklin, Baystate Wing and Baystate Noble.

Employee Belonging

Business Resource Groups (BRGs)

Baystate Health’s BRGs meet regularly to set and accomplish goals aligned with Baystate Diversity, Health Equity, & Inclusion (DHEI) strategic objectives and current needs, and are invited to provide insights and feedback on health system efforts. BRGs elevate the voices of employee groups in the organization. The current BRGs are: LGBTQ+ Pride, Black Employees Connecting, Somos Uno, Military, Veterans & Honor Guard, Women Empowered, Young Professionals, Culturally Responsive Care, and Women in Medicine and Science.

Inclusion Council

Baystate Health relaunched its Inclusion Council in 2020, bringing together leaders of the Business Resources Groups. With the Chief Human Resource Officer and Health System Chief Executive Officer serving as co-sponsors, this council provides time and space for discussion and synthesis of strategies.

LGBTQ+ Inclusion

In partnership with Baystate’s LGBTQ+ Pride Business Resource Group, The Office of Diversity, Health Equity and Inclusion led Baystate’s participation in the 2022 Human Rights Campaign Health Equality Index (HEI) Survey. Plans for continued listening and improvements in the experience of LGBTQ+ employees, patients and families, including enhancements to SOGI (Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity) data collection, policies and facilities are underway as Baystate Health prepares to complete the 2024 HEI Survey. Personal pronoun stickers for employee ID badges have been implemented to support trans and nonbinary inclusion.


Throughout the year, Baystate’s Business Resource Groups plan and encourage participation in celebrations for Martin Luther King Day, International Women’s Day, Juneteenth, Springfield’s Pride Parade, Springfield’s Puerto Rican Parade, Springfield’s Stone Soul Parade & Festival, Veteran’s Day, and more.

English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program

Through the Lyman and Leslie Wood Language Fund of the Baystate Health Foundation, Baystate Health established an English language training program for employees to help improve their English communication skills. Improving language skills enhances patient and co-worker communication and potentially lead to higher paying jobs in the organization. Five participants have already been promoted to roles in Financial Counseling, Interpreter Services and CNA programs at Baystate Health. Plans are underway to relaunch this pilot program in 2023.

Wellness & Prosperity

Minimum Wage Upgrade

Baystate Health has taken a leadership role in the region by moving to increase the minimum wage paid at Baystate Health from the current $14.11 per hour to $15 per hour, ahead of the state legislated mandate for 2023. This is part of Baystate Health’s effort to provide equitable and competitive wages and a commitment to regular equity reviews based on roles and gender.

Baystate Neighbors First Time Homebuyer's Program

Named in honor of our past president and CEO, the Mark R. Tolosky Baystate Neighbors Program, positively impacts the lives of Baystate Health team members while encouraging homeownership in the communities surrounding our hospitals. Since 1999, Baystate Health has invested nearly $2.4 million in the futures of more than 300 employees and their families. Employees who are first-time homebuyers who purchase a home in the Springfield, Greenfield, Palmer, Ware, or Westfield communities may receive up to $7,500 in forgivable loans toward the purchase of the home.

Family Prosperity Grant From The Aspen Institute

Baystate Medical Center and the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council were jointly awarded $125,000 from Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s Family Prosperity Innovation Community. The funds will help to identify and address institutional practices and policies that will support the growth and development of low-wage, entry-level employees and provide better access to career pathways. The project will also provide ready access to employment for residents from surrounding limited-opportunity neighborhoods. Work is underway in the first phase of effort.

Wellness On Wheels (WOW) Community Bus

As the largest health system in western Massachusetts, Baystate Health is committed to improving the health of people in the community. Chronic health conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, mental health and substance use disorders are identified health needs in all counties served by Baystate Health. The mobile health clinic focuses on health conditions disproportionately impacting urban and rural communities. By developing long-term community partnerships, the WOW bus aims to remove barriers to services and create a trusting space for wellness in the community. To advance health equity, the WOW bus provides preventative screenings, education, resources and coordinated access to care. It is also Baystate Health’s mobile health classroom. The WOW bus is training health profession and medical students to see themselves as community partners by engaging and learning from patients where they live and gather.

BeHealthy Partnership to Reduce Health Disparities

Baystate Health began intensive and targeted interventions on the Social Determinants of Health in 2018 for 44,000 patients in Springfield’s highest risk neighborhoods through our BeHealthy Partnership. The partnership is a Medicaid Accountable Care Organization for patients at Baystate’s three community health centers and Caring Health, in partnership with Health New England. Addressing housing insecurity, food insecurity, transportation, mental health, legal services, and other social supports has had a direct and demonstrable effect on the need for healthcare services and improved the overall health of this vulnerable group of patients. Knowing the social situations of these patients also led to more rapid interventions to deal with COVID-19 and to encourage vaccine acceptance.

Supplier Diversity Pledge

Baystate is one of 12 hospitals partnering to make a $1 billion Supplier Diversity Commitment over five years, supporting minority and women-owned businesses. One of the initial pillars of DHEI within Baystate, the Supplier Diversity Program received recognition from Premier, Inc. for its longstanding efforts supporting minority, women and veteran-owned businesses with procurement opportunities at Baystate Health. Learn more about the Supplier Diversity Program.

Get Involved With The Baystate Community

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Our Stories

Patients and team members share their stories from the front lines of healthcare.
Jaines Andrades, NP at Baystate Health

Annual Report

See highlights from this extraordinary past year.

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