HCA Healthcare earns top score on 2023 Disability Equality Index®

HCA Healthcare Earns Top Score on 2023 Disability Equality Index®

Today, we are proud to announce that HCA Healthcare has been named a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest disability rights organization, and Disability:IN, the global business disability inclusion network to collectively advance the inclusion of people with disabilities. HCA Healthcare earned a top score of 100 on the 2023 Disability Equality Index® (DEI) for our commitment to workplace inclusion.

“We are proud to be recognized as a ‘Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion’ for the second year in a row. This recognition acknowledges our unwavering dedication to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are treated with dignity and respect and are provided opportunities to fully participate in the workplace.”

Sherri Neal, chief diversity officer of HCA Healthcare

In the United States, up to 1 in 4 people have a disability. Launched in 2015 by the AAPD and Disability:IN, the DEI provides companies with benchmarking scores ranging from 0-100 to help them build a roadmap of measurable, tangible actions that they can take to achieve disability inclusion and equality. This year, 485 corporations utilized the DEI, 294 of which earned a top score of 100.

“These top-scoring companies understand deeply that people with disabilities represent a tremendous source of talent and innovation for their workforce and market share for their brands, and they are trailblazers in our journey towards full disability inclusion in business.”

Maria Town, president and chief executive officer of AAPD

The 2023 Disability Equality Index measured organizations for their disability inclusion efforts in the following categories:

  • Culture and leadership: Representation of disability in leadership roles and efforts to foster an inclusive workplace culture.
  • Enterprise-wide access: Accessibility of physical spaces, technologies and digital platforms.
  • Employment practices: Recruitment, hiring and retention practices, including accommodations, training and development opportunities and resource groups for people with disabilities.
  • Community engagement: Efforts to engage with and support the disability community through philanthropy, partnerships and advocacy initiatives.
  • Supplier diversity: Including disability-owned businesses in supply chain and procurement practices.

“Businesses have the power to drive the global advancement of disability inclusion, and we’re thrilled to see more companies than ever leverage the Disability Equality Index to measure their progress. We recognize these top-scoring companies as a ‘Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion’ for their passion and efforts to lead the way in creating greater equity for people with disabilities in the workplace, marketplace, and supply chain,” said Jill Houghton, president and chief executive officer of Disability:IN.

HCA Healthcare is committed to supporting colleagues in their work, creating opportunities for connection and dialogue and developing diverse talent. Resources available to colleagues include:

  • Benefits coverage for hearing aids, vision care and mental wellness support for full and part-time colleagues.
  • The HCA Healthcare Diversability Colleague Network, designed to advance awareness and inclusion for colleagues with disabilities, as well as those who serve as caregivers or advocates for persons with disabilities.
  • BRAVE Conversations, a program provided to colleagues with opportunities to discuss complex topics through a safe, immersive dialogue experience.

In addition to fostering an inclusive workplace, HCA Healthcare strives to provide our patients with equitable access to care. HCA Healthcare facilities have established policies and procedures describing appropriate steps and accommodations available for people with disabilities, such as in the case of an evacuation. Our organization’s internal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) teams regularly evaluate facilities to help address accessibility concerns to remove barriers to receiving care. HCA Healthcare also has a dedicated team focused on digital accessibility to help make digital products and resources accessible. Additionally, HCA Healthcare provides free aids and services to help people with disabilities communicate effectively with caregivers, such as qualified sign language interpreters or written information in other formats such as large print, braille, audio and accessible electronic formats.

HCA Healthcare and our facilities have a history of supporting organizations in the community that are focused on advancing equity for people with disabilities. HCA Healthcare is currently piloting an employment program in Nashville, Tennessee with The Precisionists, Inc., an organization focused on employment for adults with disabilities, in which neurodiverse adults will use their talents to work alongside HCA Healthcare’s Information Technology Group (ITG). Individual hospitals within HCA Healthcare’s West Florida Division, Capital Division and North Carolina Division currently participate in Project Search‘s adult internship program developed to help individuals with physical and developmental disabilities secure competitive paying jobs. Project Search participants learn new skills and receive valuable support with the goal of attaining a permanent career in healthcare. Other locally supported non-profits include:  

  • Family Voices of Tennessee: A nonprofit, parent-led organization that works to support families raising children with special healthcare needs, chronic illnesses or disabilities.
  • First Steps Nashville: A nonprofit organization aiming to educate and care for children with special needs and medical conditions alongside their typically developing peers in inclusive environments and support their families.
  • Special Kids, Inc.: A nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering, assisting and supporting families of children with disabilities.

Committed to providing an inclusive digital experience

Two HCA Healthcare colleagues sitting at a table with papers.
On May 8, 2023, HCA Healthcare hosted an Accessibility Awareness Lab with an interactive learning experience guiding participants through stations simulating what it is like to use different assistive technologies or to have a specific type of disability.

At HCA Healthcare, we are committed to supporting our colleagues, patients, and their companions with disabilities. We are dedicated to ensuring persons with disabilities are treated with dignity and respect, and are provided opportunities to participate in the workplace fully and access quality healthcare services equitably. This also includes providing an inclusive digital experience for all.

To further shine a light on digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team, in partnership with the Digital Accessibility and Compliance team, hosted an Accessibility Awareness Lab on May 8, 2023.

This interactive learning experience guided participants through nine immersive stations, each simulating what it’s like to use different assistive technologies or to have a specific type of disability. Disabilities represented ranged from cognitive differences such as dyslexia to blindness/low-vision and mobility challenges.

Nicole Tremblett, vice president of information technology group at HCA Healthcare and Diversability Colleague Network enterprise executive sponsor, attended the lab and noted the experience was vital to promote an understanding, caring and accommodating environment for everyone.

“As enterprise executive sponsor of the Diversability Colleague Network, I’m dedicated to creating more awareness around people with disabilities,” said Nicole. “Educational opportunities like the Accessibility Awareness Lab invite colleagues into the conversation and hopefully encourage them to consider ways they can be more inclusive every day.”

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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