Listening to learn, Learning to act

The HOPE Commission was tasked with making recommendations for making MHFV an anti-racist and inclusive academic health system. This work will not be easy, simple, or immediate. In fact, as we begin this work in earnest, things may feel like they are getting worse before they get better. Similar to treating a festering infection, we will need to uncover and expose the wound, so that we can tackle the infection. We will have uncomfortable conversations about race, gender, religion, and other aspects of diversity. It is critically important for us to have these conversations in order to see improvement.


The HOPE Commission makes its recommendations in two parts: Enterprise Transformation and Embedding Into Everyday Work.




Based on our listening and learning, the HOPE Commission recommends that M Health Fairview leaders take the steps outlined below to create a much stronger anti-racist and inclusion plan and infrastructure. Without addressing these fundamental issues, other efforts at change will be far more difficult, and those efforts undermined. On the other hand, downstream recommendations will be facilitated and accelerated after addressing the following foundational pieces:


Reliable Metrics. Develop a reliable system of metrics to measure progress in workforce diversity. Report regularly on diversity of overall staffing, senior leadership, and healthcare provider staffing once the system is established.


Evaluation of Impact. Systematically evaluate the impact of policy and operational changes on diverse populations.


Equitable Policies. Develop systems to conduct equity impact analyses prior to approving policies or major operational changes, and integrate these into all parts of the enterprise.


Accountability Structure. Incorporate equity goals and lenses into Tier 5 Strategy Deployment for enterprise-wide visibility. Require that individual employee goal-setting include individual diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.


Culture and Capabilities. Fairview, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians executives and senior leaders will undergo training and development using the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment and planning framework, starting in 2021. MHFV should convene a regular schedule of listening sessions with employees, patients, and community members to discuss progress and identify opportunities toward becoming a more anti-racist and inclusive academic health system. MHFV should build and support employee, patient, and community networks focused on anti-racism and inclusion as opportunities for sharing resources, building connections, and supporting stakeholders who can help move the enterprise forward in this work.


Leadership Diversity. Increase the amount of racial and gender diversity on the Boards of Directors of the JCE partners, and integrate the organization’s work in health equity and diversity, equity, and inclusion work into that of the Board. Executive leaders should identify a select few major initiatives to visibly champion and advance.




Because this work needs to become embedded within the enterprise, it will necessarily involve the engagement of responsible operational leaders. The HOPE Commission looks forward to partnering with them in the weeks and months ahead to more concretely detail specific steps to be taken throughout the year. It will be necessary for this work to become embedded into the everyday work of every employee for it to be successful. Responsible Executive Sponsors are charged with for submitting their essential work plans for each key role to James Hereford and Dean Jakub Tolar by April 2, 2021.