Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine believe a diverse and inclusive work environment for staff­ and culturally sensitive care for our patients are essential to fulfilling our mission of improving the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians and others we serve. We commit to value within UNC Health the diversity of all those we serve including diversity in race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, gender expression, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and life experiences.

We are guided by these principles:

  • Diversity is how we are the same and how we are different. This includes the unique characteristics that define who we are as individuals; our language, education, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability, religion, political beliefs and our moral compass.
  • Equity ensures fair and just opportunities for patients and coworkers.
  • Inclusion is deliberate action to create a welcoming and respectful environment for all on our team and those who we serve.

Our efforts are ongoing as we continue to look for ways to improve. In 2019, we joined Time’s Up Healthcare Signatories, pledging commitment to creating a safe, respectful and equitable workplace. By embracing the differences that make us better and addressing systemic barriers and bias, we’re challenging ourselves to create a community where everyone is valued and treated with dignity and respect.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is committed to creating a welcoming, respectful, equitable and inclusive environment for all people; our patients, co-workers, visitors, students and volunteers; everyone who crosses the threshold of our hospitals, clinics, and office buildings.

Headshot of Aleyah Pryor-Pankey, System Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Aleyah Pryor-Pankey, System Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Headshot of Audrea Caesar, PhD, MSPH, SHRM-SCP, CHES, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion OfficerAudrea Caesar, PhD, MSPH, SHRM-SCP, CHES, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer; Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council

UNC Health established a System Executive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council to provide leadership and oversight for our DEI initiatives. The Council includes a broad representation from across the health system. Our goal is to guide UNC Health into a new era of diversity and fairness that supports quality healthcare and outstanding service for our patients and an inclusive place to work and grow.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) priorities include:

  • Developing a strategic plan for DEI across the UNC Health system
  • Elevating and enhancing current DEI efforts
  • Developing policies and practices to advance DEI goals
  • Coordinating and supporting coworkers as they build and develop Employee Resource Groups
  • Increasing diversity in leadership
  • Measuring and evaluating our progress regularly
  • Reallocating resources to support the DEI  mission
  • Ensuring DEI principles are included in all system-wide strategic initiatives

Employee Resource Group (ERG) Inclusion Initiative

The unique voices of our diverse patient and coworker populations are heard through our Employee Resource Group Inclusion Initiative. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups connecting co-workers with shared characteristics, life experiences or interests. Employee Resource Groups sponsor programs, community outreach and events that align with the organizations mission, values and strategic goals. The Employee Resource Group Inclusion Initiative contributes to increased patient satisfaction, employee satisfaction, engagement and retention.

ERGs are currently serving patients and co-workers in the following communities:

  • African American
  • Salud (Hispanic/Latinx)
  • Prism (LGBTQ+)
  • Veterans
  • Diverse Abilities
  • Faith/Spirituality
  • Leadership Diversity (People of Color, Women, and all Under-represented Groups)

What Is Health Equity?

Health equity means ensuring that every person in every community can get the same high-quality care regardless of individual characteristics, such as ethnicity, gender or geographic location. A number of social, economic and cultural factors significantly affect both physical and mental health. We strive to recognize and eliminate these disadvantages that lead to healthcare disparities through initiatives that increase diversity in leadership, improve training for cultural competency and strengthen community partnerships.

Learn more about our work to achieve health equity.

Contact Us

We welcome your feedback and questions. Please feel free to send a message to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Email Us

Patient Accessibility Resources

We've compiled answers and resources about language and accessibility in one place.

Go to Language &

Awards & Recognition

Healthcare Equality Index Emblems from Human Rights Commission

  • UNC Rex Hospital was recognized as an Equality Leader and UNC Hospitals as a Top Performer in the Healthcare Equality Index measuring equity and inclusion of LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. Chatham Hospital earned a score of 90 out of 100 and was recognized as a 2022 HEI participant.

  • In 2020, we were among the recipients of the Latino Diamante Award, honoring individuals or organizations making significant contributions to the Hispanic/Latino community.
  • Also in 2020, Chatham Hospital received the Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award for its efforts including employee training in communication, cultural competency and unconscious bias, as well as mentoring programs in partnership with community leaders with the aim of securing future applicants to provide interpreter services.