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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Frequently Asked Questions

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. How do they differ from each other?

PicNational Jewish Health is using diversity in its broadest sense to mean all differences. Learn More

Equity involves allocating the appropriate resources that each person needs to achieve equal outcomes. It goes a step further than equality.

Inclusion involves creating an environment that embraces differences as well as similarities. It can be seen in our behaviors and how we interact with our coworkers and patients – it is the bridges that are built are among differing groups. It is the ability of diverse groups of people to not only be represented, but to also feel included in the work place.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion exist on a spectrum. At one end exists Diversity, the beginning stages of recognizing the differences in a community. Recognition of Diversity leads to equality, working to provide people of all differences fair opportunities. Equity rises when the community offers people of different backgrounds the resources to reach equal outcomes. And Inclusion is achieved when people from all walks of life feel included and welcome in all communities in which they find themselves. Each stage is important, and inclusion is not attainable without conceding the others.

Are Diversity, Equity & Inclusion the same thing as Affirmative Action?

No. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion recognizes and embraces differences in order to advance the culture - in this case, the culture of National Jewish Health. National Jewish Health’s goal is to increase the intercultural competency and our abilities to establish powerful relationship across cultures, in order to engage effectively and inspire all team members to contribute their best.

As defined by Encyclopedia Britannica, “Affirmative Action, in the United States, is an active effort to improve employment or educational opportunities for members of minority groups and for women. Affirmative Action began as a government remedy to the effects of long-standing discrimination against such groups and has consisted of policies, programs, and procedures that give preferences to minorities and women in job hiring, admission to institutions of higher education, the awarding of government contracts, and other social benefits”.
For more information on Equal Employment Opportunity and National Jewish Health’s Affirmative Action Plan, please review the Employee Handbook, available on NJH’s intranet page, the Spyderweb.

What is my role as an employee in regard to diversity?

picIn order to uphold our National Jewish Health core value of respect, all team members need to work together to create an inclusive environment by showing respect and understanding for each other. We all must be aware of our differences and be respectful of those differences. 

What about diversity and the hiring of employees?

In order to attract the kind of workforce that is needed in this very competitive market, we have to create an environment that welcomes a wide range of employees. National Jewish Health seeks to attract the best-qualified candidates who support the mission, vision and values of the Institution and those who respect and promote excellence through diversity.

For more information on Equal Employment Opportunity and National Jewish Health’s Affirmative Action Plan, please review the Employee Handbook, available on NJH’s intranet page, the Spyderweb.

How does this relate to me?

Diversity is seen in not only our workplace, but in every aspect of life. We’re in a challenging time, politically, culturally, and professionally. The goals, initiatives and trainings brought forth by the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team at NJH focus on the skills needed to recognize the importance of respect, the ability to acknowledge our differences & values, as well as the ability to self-reflect and actively listen. These initiatives will help us to identify and work within our inherent biases, which will benefit every individual in a profession and personal setting.

How does this apply to M.D.s?

PicAs a physician at the top Respiratory Hospital, you see patients from all over the country and world. Being culturally competent allows you to provide personalized, patient-centered care. This can be the difference in retaining your patients, patient satisfaction, and patients adhering to their treatments. In addition, as a leader, you have a diverse workforce to manage. Learning how to motivate and communicate with your team members is an ongoing and evolving process. The goals, initiatives and trainings brought forth by the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team will help you, to help your team in providing the best patient care experience. 

Why are we doing this? Why now?

The staff at National Jewish Health is one of the most diverse in Colorado hospitals and has always strived to be a world leader. In order to meet the demands of the constantly changing world, we must work as a group to live our mission and core values. The National Jewish Health’s Vision for the ideal future state of DE&I supports the core values of the Institution – to create a respectful and inclusive organization that attracts and retains a talented and diverse workforce, able to leverage our own diversity and to create programs and services which meet the diverse needs of the patients we serve. We recognize that our vision will be a journey that continues to shift to meet the demands of the external, evolving world - the ability to be inclusive of all differences will become one of our most important competitive advantages.

Will I be paid for attending DEI courses or lectures or will I have to come in off the clock? Who will cover me in clinic/office/lab?

The Diversity & Inclusion Council recommends attending during your normally scheduled hours. You will be paid if the training you registered for is during your scheduled shift and please note that you must have your supervisor’s permission in advance. Trainings are offered on an ongoing basis throughout the year, so you can plan in advance to find the training session to fit your schedule and work load. Please speak to your supervisor &/or scheduler regarding coverage (if needed) while in the training.

I currently have a specific issue that involves Diversity and Inclusion – can I get help with that?

Please contact Human Resources if you are experiencing an issue that involves diversity and inclusion.
The Institution prohibits retaliation against any employee for filing a complaint under the EEO policy or for assisting in a complaint investigation. If you believe there has been a violation of our EEO or retaliation standards, please contact Human Resources.

How will Diversity & Inclusion trainings benefit researchers who don’t interact with the public or patients?

PicOur research population is one of our most diverse populations - In age, gender, country of origin, native language, etc. This is a uniquely challenging work setting, and this training(s) is designed to help us to understand, embrace, and capitalize on our diversity to help our research staff to bring new knowledge and discoveries worldwide.

Is the Diversity & Inclusion training mandatory?

New employees at National Jewish Health are required to attend basic Diversity & Inclusion training within 90-days of hire. Over the course of the past few years, leaders around the Institution are noting the training’s importance in supporting National Jewish Health’s Mission and Core Values, as well as the value the class provides their teams. Many leaders are requiring that their team complete the training – typically in the in-service training fashion. For more information on bringing Diversity & Inclusion training to your team, please contact

How long is the Diversity & Inclusion class? Will I have a break during the class?

The class is scheduled to run for 2 hours and will start and end on time. Breaks are not added into the schedule, however if a personal break is needed this can occur. 

What’s the format of the required Diversity & Inclusion class?

PicLecture with class participation. There are some activities geared to partner/group participation, but the extent to which you participate in the activities is completely up to you. The primary focus of training is providing opportunities to expand your knowledge, activities for mindfulness practice and behavior. The training is conducted in a safe space – meaning, prior to each class, the group will be asked to let “anything shared in the classroom stay in the classroom” – to respect fellow attendee’s privacy.

How do I sign up to attend a Diversity & Inclusion class?

Class sign-up can be found on the Spyderweb, under On-line Training (NetLearning).

What if I can’t attend the Diversity & Inclusion class I have signed up for?

Places for the class are reserved and it is asked that if you are unable to attend a class you have signed up for, that you utilize On-line Training (NetLearning) system to remove your reservation from the class. You may reschedule for any other future session. If you are new employee or it has been made mandatory by your supervisor, you will be required to attend and will be asked to reschedule a missed class.

I think what is really needed at National Jewish is a course in civility – creating a caring environment - can we look at that next?

Civility, respect and caring are foundations of the Diversity and Inclusion training.

Any requests for class topics can be emailed to and we will take your ideas into consideration for future class offerings.

Don't I have enough demanded of me already?

PicWe understand that here at National Jewish Health, we are pretty lean and sometimes we have to run a tight ship in order to meet the demanding needs of our customers and the patients we serve. The Leaders in the Institution see this training as an important benefit; an opportunity to gain and enhance professional skills, designed by world-class experts, being offered to you at no cost. This training also provides you with tools that will help you to be more successful in your position at National Jewish Health. 

Who created the Diversity & Inclusion curriculum?

The former Diversity and Inclusion Council, supported by National Jewish leadership, with expert guidance and beta tested with NJH employees.

Will I have to retake the Diversity & Inclusion class every year?

The class is designed without the need to retake every year. The Diversity and Inclusion team will also offer additional courses and guest speakers that you may be interested in attending. To note, many employees who have taken the class have asked for additional learning opportunities- we welcome any ideas that you have for future learning topics!