Beyond Clinical Walls Podcast

Embracing Diversity in Leadership and Healthcare: Insights from Jay Guilford

January 09, 2024 Dr. BCW - Dr. Curry-Winchell, M.D. Season 1 Episode 7
Beyond Clinical Walls Podcast
Embracing Diversity in Leadership and Healthcare: Insights from Jay Guilford
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join Dr. Curry-Winchell, aka Dr. BCW,  in an enlightening session with Jay Guilford, founder of CO Works Leadership Strategies, as they explore the critical role of diversity, equity, and inclusion in both corporate and healthcare sectors. Guilford, with his extensive experience in leadership development for major companies, shares his personal journey and why he's passionate about DEI training, especially for medical professionals.

In this episode, Guilford recounts a powerful personal story about facing life-threatening illness and the biases in medical treatment he encountered. This conversation highlights the importance of understanding and combating bias in healthcare and beyond, emphasizing the impact of representation on health outcomes and the necessity of expanding DEI initiatives to address various forms of discrimination.

Listeners will gain valuable insights into effective approaches to DEI, moving beyond blame and shame tactics, and the significance of self-education in understanding our own privileges. This episode is a call to action for embracing diversity and inclusion in all professional environments.

Tune in to Beyond Clinical Walls Podcast for an inspiring discussion on the transformative power of diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership and healthcare.

#DR_BCW #BeyondClinicalWalls #DiversityInHealthcare #InclusiveLeadership #DEITraining #HealthcareEquity #MedicalDiversity #LeadershipDevelopment #EquityInMedicine #InclusiveHealthcare #BiasInHealthcare

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Speaker 1:

Hi, this is Dr BCW with Beyond Clinical Walls. Thank you for joining me today. I am so excited for you to hear about my guest, jay Guilford, who is founder and managing partner of Co-Works Leadership Strategist. Over the course of his 15 years in learning and leadership development, jay has delivered training solutions to top performing companies including Google, uber, microsoft, mastercard, r&r Partners, procter, gamble and others. Recently, jay has expanded his work to provide diversity, equity and inclusion trading to corporate groups and to medical providers. As part of his portfolio, jay has recently worked with UNLV's School of Medicine. He created a pilot workshop that helped the Faculty Affairs Department articulate some of their diversity and learning delivery practices to stakeholders. I am so excited for this episode because not only is Jay a phenomenal human, he is really embarking on such well needed work in so many different areas. I'm also excited to share that we have recently partnered to offer virtual and in-person diversity, equity and inclusion training sessions. We have one session targeting corporate leaders and teams, and we have also created another session specifically for medical service providers. I am so excited for you to meet him. I also have to amplify and elevate that his background for providing leadership training has included Fortune 100 companies. There is so much breath behind Jay that I hope I can do it service, but I am so excited for you to be able to hear about why he does what he does and the work that he has been able to put forward and continues to put forward. I am so excited to have you, jay. Welcome to Beyond Clinical Walls. Please introduce yourself.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I think you did a good job. I don't have anything more to say, Dr BCW, just thank you for having me and for the listeners. Thanks for tuning in.

Speaker 1:

Well, we are so excited to have you and I'm going to just shower a little bit more as we get down to why Jay does what he does. As I mentioned, just a phenomenal human being. Not only does he put forward amazing work, he cares about the work that he's putting forward. All the companies, organizations, all the people that he has worked with come away with a sense of transformation. I think it's important, as always when I have a guest, to have the opportunity to share, Jay, why you do what you do. Please share with the listeners about you and also the work that you do and where it's rooted in.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's interesting because we talked about this Dr BCW. You can kind of look at my resume and portfolio and say, yeah, of course we know why this guy is working with corporate groups, because I've worked with a lot of Fortune 500, 100 companies. But the question that people will ask is why did I decide to deliver diversity, equity and inclusion training, in partnership with Dr BCW, to medical professionals Zoom? I'll share this story. A few years ago I came down with a sudden life threatening illness, and that's not an exaggeration. On one day I went for a five mile jog. I came home I felt, you know, off and I felt kind of dizzy and nauseous, so I went to sleep. When I woke up I could barely walk, so much so that I asked a friend you know her grace for us. So I asked a friend to bring me a cane, but still I thought nothing of it. And then I woke up the next day and my entire body was inflamed and I could barely walk. So the first stop was a quick care clinic and there the practitioner dismissed my pain. So when I came in I was on a cane. I could barely walk. They took me back, the practitioner put me on a metal table and I kept saying I am in severe pain, it hurts when you touch me. They ignored that. They manipulated me, moved me about. So much so, dr Vcw, that I eventually vomited from the pain everywhere and including on the practitioner. Hate to be explicit, but I want to. I want to really detail this out. And then so someone else rushed in and they said well, he's vomiting because he's told you he's in pain and you haven't done anything. So they gave me some anti-nausea medication at this one facility, but I had to go to another hospital and at the second hospital, the same thing, you know. I went in. I could barely walk. I requested a wheelchair. They didn't seem to take my concerns seriously until they got me to the ICU and they realized that my organs were failing. So I was admitted. I was there for 28 days and over the course of the 28 days I lost about 25 to 30 pounds. And, dr Vcw, you see me, I'm 150, 155 on a good day, so I don't have 30 pounds to lose. And I remember in one specific instance this happened multiple times in the second facility and one instance they took me down to a room for procedure. I lost maybe 15, 20 pounds at that point and they knew that my organs were failing. They knew that I was near death and the person who dropped me off told the person who's doing the examination. They said he's in severe pain and that other person said well, he's just going to have to deal with it. A third time in that same facility they eventually discovered that there was a complication of my gallbladder. They had inserted a device. And then, on a day after I lost 20 pounds, I'm very thin, organs are failing. They had to remove the device. And I remember the guy explicitly telling me we usually give a local anesthetic, but you're a big boy, you can handle this pain. And as I start to inject heat, insert some tool into my open body and rip something out, some device, and it was painful. And then for rehab I go to another facility and it's the same thing. I remember being told oh, your legs are swollen, double the size. You're just going to have to walk on them and deal with the pain. And then, on my way out of that facility, because I had to advocate for myself, I said I got to get out of here. This is not. The service here is low quality. I'd rather be at home and risk it. So I advocated to get out two days early and on the day they were supposed to let me out they had some device attached, some drain to my gallbladder and they hadn't even taken care to patch it up. So I remember my Uber being outside and sitting on the edge of the bed telling the Uber driver to wait and some person just doing a shoddy job of literally patching me up. So at one facility I could say, oh, this is poor service. At two maybe, but across three facilities. Multiple times it was for me a case of bias. They looked at me as a black man and said he can handle this pain. It happened multiple times, at least six that I can count. So that brought me to the conclusion, not to say that medical professionals are all biased. I don't believe that it brought me to the conclusion that many medical professionals need to understand what bias is and how to avoid it in order to improve patient outcomes. So that's why I do this type of work specifically with medical professionals.

Speaker 1:

You know, when I hear your story, jay, and the first time I heard it, and even each time I hear it, it is heartbreaking to know that you had to go through that, not even just one time. One time is enough, but three times you were not seen, you were not heard and just this kind of okay he can take it and the words that are associated with that bias that those clinicians and organizations had you experience. That you experienced is there's no excuse. And when I hear your story, I think about how so many different individuals of color black individuals as we, you know, focus on that with your story are facing every single day. And then when you add the sector of intersectionality and we know there's other layers that people are facing on top of that as well First I just want to honor and acknowledge and just say thank you so much for just sharing your story, because I know from a personal level, as I've shared my story of things that I've experienced as a physician, when you do share it there's a level of retraumat that you experience at least I, every time I share my story but I'm also hopeful that I can help others and I think that is so healing and therapeutic in what some of us, you know, try to do. Everybody has their own journey when they experience things like this, but to be able to put it forward and have that lived experience is so important. And so you know, jay, when I talk about bias and I talk about how this impacts medical care, I like to bring my receipts, I like to bring my data. I think that's important because we are not only sharing our real lived experience, but we are also sharing the data that also supports it. So I would love for you to you know, share some of the data that you are aware of and how that kind of connection of bias and its impact We've seen, and many studies have shown, that representation impacts health outcomes Absolutely, and you have a lot of information about this, don't you, bcw. I do. You know there have been multiple studies throughout the years that I've shown that having representation, you know it helps health outcomes, but there's also the opportunity for shared learning experiences and so when you are going to school or when you are working with others of different cultures and ethnicities, there's an opportunity to learn and that information that you learn can be put forward in the care that you deliver. And this doesn't just live in hospital systems, it's in all sectors when we talk about as far as a workforce. So that part is important and, jay, you know, I would love to kind of hear about the work that you do in individual or teams, understanding the impact of this. I would love for you to share with the listeners more about that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for me, this is not just understanding diversity, equity and inclusion, and, specifically, bias is not just a nice tab. It impacts outcomes to organizations. So an individual or teams understanding, or lack thereof, of issues of diversity, equity and inclusion impacts the quality of service they can provide to the end user and in medicine or in any industry, really is going to impact your product or service. The difference is, in medicine, the level of service provided impacts the patient's quality of life and in some cases it can be life and death. There's a specific story that Dr Irma Corral of UNLV's School of Medicine shared in our training and it's a story from her portfolio that she shared with us and I'll share with you. She heard the story of a trans woman named Tyra Hunter who was in an accident and when the medical providers hit the scene, they had to remove Tyra's clothing. They were shocked because Tyra is female presenting but had male genitalia, and because they didn't know how to handle the situation and because they had personal bias, they were really inefficient in providing care and, as a result, tyra died. And what they concluded is that had they been more efficient and had they not been so distracted by their own bias, they could have saved Tyra's life. So that's one specific data point and example of how bias can negatively I should say impact health outcomes. So we want to help teams avoid that. And it's not only outcomes but quality of service for corporate groups, quality of products. It can impact retention, it can impact the talent that you can attract to your organization because, whether in medicine or in any other field, people are looking around and that top talent has choice and they're thinking I don't see anybody who looks like me here so I don't want to join this institution medicine, medical or otherwise. So it impacts a lot of factors that can impact your business or your medical practice.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and thank you, jay, for just sharing that story Because we often think of sometimes people think of bias in one direction, but we again forget all of those intersectionalities that all of us carry. We need to be able to respond to that. And how do we respond? In a authentic and non-biased at least we try. How do you do that? It's by learning and acknowledging and having that training to be able to respond in that truly healthy, diverse way so you can save someone's life or really honor someone, whoever you come into contact. And so I'm curious in your professional opinion, having trained so many different groups and so many different industries, where do you think the best or what do you think is the best approach to bias and, more largely DEI, where is it going wrong?

Speaker 2:

Well, I just got to call in I don't want to call people out, but call in some trainers, because I've seen trainers usher groups into a physical or a virtual environment, you know close that physical or virtual door and then proceed to wag their finger at the learners and ran about how one group is the cause of all of the DEI issues and I called that a blaming and shaming approach and that's got to really stop. If you're doing that internally with your teams, please stop that. And if you're a trainer, you're doing that, stop that. I want to stop and point out that I am a black man, I'm a gay man and for a large part of my childhood I grew up in housing projects, so I have definitely personally experienced inequity and bias across a range of identity groups, so I can definitely understand the emotional motivation to blame and shame. At the same time, as an adult learning expert who has trained hundreds of corporate and nonprofit groups, I gotta say that the blaming and shaming method does not work. So what we actually want to do with these sessions is we want everyone to understand the issues around diversity, equity and inclusion and the opportunities around being more inclusive and diverse. So to do that, we don't want people to feel blamed and when you do the blaming and shaming method, that team you're trying to get to be more cohesive they actually walk out thinking negative things about each other's identity groups. So that's the first thing I would say we want to. The thing I see that goes wrong is the blaming and shaming method. So we gotta stop that. Secondly and you touched on this, dr BCW we have to expand our understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion, to continue to discuss anti-racism, because that's important, but also to include the other isms and opportunities around DEI. So here's a story from my career that exemplifies this. A few years ago, I received a call from an owner of a tech company and this guy he worked in another part of the country, he was not in the United States, and he started by saying J I was recommended to you, I want to start a DEI initiative and I said great. And then he proceeded to say I need to hire more African-Americans and I had to pause him because he was in a part of the world where there were literally no regional in his region, no African-Americans. There, 4.5% of the population identified as members of the Black diaspora. That means that they were some of them were Black Haitians, some of them were Nigerians, some of them were Black in other ways, but they were not African-Americans. What I saw with him and Dr BCW? We've seen this a lot people conflate DEI with anti-racism. Anti-racism is an important part of diversity, equity and inclusion, but it's only one part. So you want to talk about anti-racism, you want to talk about gender inequality, you want to talk about sexism, heterosexism, homophobia, all of the isms, but you also want to look at those opportunities, because if you're in a training and you just focus on the isms, then people are like, oh, we're doing everything wrong. So start with what are we doing, right? That's a good thing to think about. And what are the opportunities, right? Bcw, do you want to chime?

Speaker 1:

in yes, and that part is so important because when people just feel like everything is wrong, there's no opportunity to learn, to grow or find the things that might be doing or might be going well and they could have a little tune up. Because everything, my dad would always say we're learners every day. He would say, the day he stops learning there's something wrong. And so when you look at that or when you think of that and you put that into perspective in all areas of your life, it's really easy to kind of think about what you just said, jay. Yes, there's all of these other pieces that we have to look at, but we can also incorporate what are we doing right and also have the mindset of what can we do better? Can we do better, what are we doing well, and so forth. I think that is so important.

Speaker 2:

And I want to add something. I've seen this in medicine, but I've also seen it specifically in the tech industry. There are lots of articles that say tech needs to be more diverse, tech needs to be more diverse. I've worked with a lot of tech companies, some really bit ones. They are hugely diverse. What we're talking about is tech needs to be more diverse in terms of gender, and tech needs to be more diverse in terms of maybe including more black and African-American people. When you look at the roster of people working in the tech industry, it's hugely international and they also have high levels of neurodiversity. So when we it helps not to ignore some issues, but it helps us when we talk about DEI and we expand that definition, to know what we're trying to target. So are we saying, for example, that the tech industry is not diverse Because it really, really, really is? But are we saying the tech industry can increase the number of women in leadership positions and the number of black and African-American people? Yes, we're saying that. But to say that the tech industry is, on a whole, not diverse. A lot of them have neurodiversity initiatives, so they are diverse in many ways that other organizations or fields maybe are not. So that's why that definition really honing in on what you're trying to target in terms of your DEI programming is really important.

Speaker 1:

I'm so glad you said that because again, there's this kind of umbrella, this kind of everything. This is not diverse. But when you do that, you miss the opportunity to unpack or reveal what areas are you truly not diverse in, because you've kind of have this kind of, you know, all inclusive or all encompassing perspective. So I love that we do have to look at what is the actual data behind the group that you are not diverse in, because you miss that opportunity. That's a great call out, jay.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. I always ask folks when they talk about diversity. I'm like well, how many people are using that accessibility realm? That's really clean. I haven't seen anybody access it in the way. So there's a lot of ways we can be more diverse. All of us, you know, including me and you and I know you and I are always working to expand our more understanding.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. We're learning every day, and that's the key, you know just figuring out what you can do better, what things that you might have missed a misstep, and those missteps are opportunities to have a better or a bigger step next time, and so it's all about acknowledging it, so you know. Another question that I have, Jay, is for those who are listening, because you know we hear about these opportunities or things that will help us really achieve diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, While including. You know, what are we parceling out? And that part is so important. What can some listeners take listening right now? Some things that they could really, that are tangible action items that they can really start this process with. What ideas can you share?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So there are two things that listeners can do. First, I would say specifically for medical professionals, because I know that's your audience, dr BCW I urge those people in medicine and in other work environments to not only focus on the issues but the opportunities. So when you think about why is it important in terms of the work we do in medicine to provide the team with higher levels of fluency and DEI fundamentals? Well, giving a team member more that gives a team member more comfort when they're interacting with a person or a patient in an identity category that might be foreign to that team member. So let's say a trans person does come in and you have receptionist that, oh, they don't know what to do or you know some identity that is foreign to them. When they feel more comfortable and the medical providers feel more comfortable, guess what the patient feels more comfortable and then you as a medical provider, can get information that the patient might otherwise withhold if they feel judged, and that's going to be important for the patient outcome. So it's not just do this because it's nice or do this because it's morally the right thing to do. Be more comfortable with multiple identity groups so that the patient will give you information about their specific experience and that identity group that can help you serve them better and possibly save their life. So that's the first, and the second thing I would say is engage in self-education. Again, a story of myself and learning about my male privilege. I remember I lived in New York for many, many years and I was talking to a friend and she wanted something from the store and I said it's 9 pm, just go out and get it. And she said well, you know, you're speaking from male privilege. Women don't usually go out at night because we feel unsafe. Now, I didn't argue with her, I took her word for it and also to educate myself, I stepped outside, I looked around and I realized that I would say 90% of the people walking the street were men. If they were walking alone, and if they weren't walking alone, the woman was walking with another person, or they were walking with a big dog, or my friend told me she does this a lot they were walking alone and they were on their phone because if something were to happen, someone else would hear. And then that prompted me to start to explore my male privilege and watch documentaries and read things so that now, when that's pointed, first of all, I don't wanna speak from male privilege ever, although I'm sure I still do. But secondly, when someone brings it up, I can say, yeah, definitely understand that. Let me study a bit more about that.

Speaker 1:

And right away. When you said that, jay and this is the first time I've ever heard you share that story I immediately thought, well, I always am on the phone with a friend or my husband when I leave a store at night, because I want someone to know, and that's just a part of my playbook. And so, to your point, these are things that we all have, that we carry, and so what can we do to not only recognize our privilege and recognize other people in what they do, to get through life every day, and not only recognize it, hear it, acknowledge it and try, as you mentioned, to get comfortable with it? And so I think those things are so vital to being able to make strides within this work. So thank you for this just amazing conversation today. I'm so excited for the listeners to just hear what you shared with us today and take the time to listen to this once, twice, three times, because I promise you there are so many gems that Jay dropped in this podcast that you can take that will help you in your everyday life with yourself, your friends, your family members, but also at work, and reach out to him. He is a wealth of information and I'm just so excited about all the things that you are bringing forward. I'm excited about our workshops that we're gonna be bringing forward as well, really being able to bring forward that medical piece as well in all of the great work that you do. So thank you very much for joining me on Beyond Clinical Walls, and I would love for the listeners to hear about how they can get in contact with you. Shower us with all of your contact information.

Speaker 2:

Well, to learn more about me and to learn about our workshops, you can visit my website at Co-Works Lead. That's wwwcoowrksleadcom. That's wwwco-worksleadcom. And if you want some specific information about leadership training or the workshops that Dr Bcw and I offer I know this is going up on your website pretty soon, dr Bcw, but in the meantime, they can email us or me at contactatco-worksleadcom. That's contactatco-worksleadcom.

Speaker 1:

Excellent. Well, thank you again, jay, for being a guest on Beyond Clinical Walls. This was just a delight, and grateful for your conversation, the education and the opportunity that you shared during this podcast. This is Dr Bcw. As always, I end with a level of gratitude. I appreciate everyone who just took the time to listen to Beyond Clinical Walls. Thank you. Don't forget to subscribe and turn on notifications so you don't miss my next upload. And if you found this information helpful, please hit the thumbs up.

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