What is EDCN

Executive Diversity Career Navigator (EDCN) is a centralized resource of tools, tips, and information designed for healthcare leaders from underrepresented groups to successfully navigate their career path to senior level positions.

Why EDCN?

Research and real-world experience confirm diversity at the highest ranks of healthcare management contributes to improved quality, equity, and safe care for all persons. However, the path to senior levels can be fraught with challenges—particularly for healthcare professionals from underrepresented groups.

Who Created EDCN?

EDCN is a collaborative project of six national healthcare organizations dedicated to advancing executive diversity:

Who Uses EDCN?

Many of the EDCN contributors are racially/ethnically or LGBT diverse healthcare executives who candidly share their own experiences and offer suggestions targeted to a comparably diverse audience. Any healthcare professional, however, will find EDCN’s materials useful.

History of EDCN

In February 2016, the senior leaders of the above groups formally signed a “Healthcare Executive Diversity Memorandum of Agreement (MOA),” in which they committed their respective organizations to “engage in collaborative initiatives designed to increase and sustain diversity and inclusion at the highest levels of healthcare leadership.”

The MOA recognized several critical issues, including:

  • The Equity of Care (EOC) collaborative initiative created a national call to action to eliminate healthcare disparities and improve quality of care for all patients. One of three focus areas for EOC recognizes the necessity of increasing diversity in healthcare leadership.
  • ACHE’s 2014 research on demographic diversity in healthcare indicates representation of racially and ethnically diverse executives has not significantly improved since ACHE released its first racial/ethnic study in 1992.
  • Minorities represent 31% of the patient population, but only 14% of hospital board members and 12% of healthcare executive leadership positions are held by minorities, according to a 2013 study by the IFD/Health Research & Educational Trust.
  • Achieving sustainable progress in diversifying the ranks of healthcare executives requires parallel paths of preparing healthcare organizations to build inclusive cultures and equipping diverse healthcare executives to flourish in senior positions.

In June 2016, the MOA participating organizations convened their senior leaders to explore a common critical issue and propose a practical way to address the issue:

Critical Issue

Diverse healthcare professionals encounter issues and opportunities—some akin to the majority, some more pronounced for diverse persons, and others unique to diverse persons—on their career journey. They need to know what those opportunities and issues may be and ways to maximize the opportunities while diminishing or eliminating the debilitating impact of those issues.

Addressing the Issue

Create an online centralized resource for healthcare executives from underrepresented groups to successfully navigate their career paths to senior level positions. Ensure the resource is easily accessible, tailored to the interests and needs of the targeted groups, and well-publicized.