Equity & Safety
At Adapt Integrated Health Care, we care deeply that our clients and staff feel safe, welcomed, important and included. To this end, we aspire to serve our mission in a way that is both trauma-informed and attentive to issues of equity, inclusion and diversity. In both areas, we have developed internal initiatives and supports, and we engage in outward-facing community activities. We realize that doing our best in these areas is a process rather than a destination and remain open to ways that we can continually improve.
The term “equity” is used as shorthand for EID (Equity, Inclusion and Diversity) and CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) issues that impact our clients, our employees, and our communities.
We believe in providing world class service to clients regardless of culture, language, social class, race, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other factors related to identity. We are also sensitive to the challenges that persons from marginalized groups experience, even within health care systems, and strive to anticipate and mitigate these concerns. In all encounters with us, from a first phone call to a final treatment session, we want our clients to feel seen, respected and understood.
We are equally committed to recruiting and retaining talented staff from diverse backgrounds. We promote a workplace culture that is equitable, inclusive, safe and welcoming to clients, staff, and stakeholders of all backgrounds. We believe that staff with a variety of lived experiences enrich our organization and our clients’ experiences.
Equity Key Words and Definitions
CLAS: Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services are services that are “tailor(ed)…to an individual’s culture and language preferences” to “bring about positive health outcomes for diverse populations” (source: HHS.gov).
Cultural Competence is defined in the Oregon Administrative Rules as “the process by which people and systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each.”
Equity, Inclusion and Diversity (EID)
- Equity is “promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.” (Source: dei.extension.org)
- Inclusion means that people from diverse backgrounds feel included, safe and welcomed.
- Diversity refers to that “there are many different kinds of people—and the idea that this diversity drives cultural, economic, and social vitality and innovation” (source: Greater Good). Diversity can include but is not limited to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, ethnicity, language, age and (dis)ability.
What We Are Doing to Advance Equity
- Accessibility: Multiple resources for clients and family members whose primary language is not English.
- Trainings: Training for every employee in equity issues at least annually; more targeted trainings for leadership, direct service providers; trainings on working with clients from diverse backgrounds; lending library of current fiction and non-fiction works.
- CLAS Committee: Representatives from different parts of the organization with different lived experiences meet monthly to identify needs and improvement opportunities. Projects include employee “stage of change” survey for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity issues; monthly CLAS newsletter, and implementation of “I Speak” cards to help clients indicate their preferred language.
Providing physical, psychological, and emotional safety is the foundation of being a trauma-informed organization. At Adapt, we recognize that many of our clients have experienced significant adverse childhood experiences that impact how they think, feel and behave – including how they “show up” for services and how they trust and connect with helpers.
We aspire to view behavior through the lens of trauma and shift the conversation from “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you and how can we help?” Our efforts aim to ensure that our worksites feel safe, welcoming, and comfortable and that our staff are sensitive and attuned to interacting in ways that avoid re-traumatization.
We also recognize that working in health care in any capacity is stressful and can potentially expose our employees to difficult situations. We are committed to continually evaluating our workplace culture, providing appropriate employee training, and making every effort to provide resources and support to nurture employee health and well-being.
Safety Key Words and Definitions
Trauma Informed Care (TIC): “Trauma-informed care is a strengths-based framework that is grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma, that emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors, and that creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.” (Hopper, Bassuk, & Olivet, 2010)
Trauma Informed Services: Services and supports that are informed and sensitive to trauma-related issues present in individuals who have experienced trauma. Services delivered in a way to avoid inadvertent re-traumatization and facilitate participation in treatment.
What We Are Doing to Advance Safety
- Trainings: Trauma Informed “basics” training for all new hires; annual trauma informed care refresher for every employee in the organization; specialized trainings on trauma informed practices and approaches; staff who have specialized trauma-specific training.
- Self-care for Staff: Weekly email communication and tips regarding self-care; recognition as a “Blue Zones” certified workplace; employee wellness program and wellness committee; staff access to Employee Assistance Program.
- Trauma Informed Care Committee: Representatives from different parts of the organization with different lived experiences meet monthly to identify needs and improvement opportunities. Recent project includes developing presenting training to every department on what trauma informed practice “looks like” in that setting.
- Peer Mentors: Many programs are employing and training staff with lived experience to help clients navigate the change process, community resources, and social supports.