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Editor’s note: This article has been updated with more information about the main stage discussions, Get Real sessions, and recently confirmed discussion leaders. 

Diversity in C-suites and board rooms is more critical than ever. While the gender disparities and civil injustices Americans are witnessing in 2020 illustrate that reality, the time for simply observing and discussing disparities is over.  

Today’s leaders must take action to eradicate inequities. Focusing on diversity and inclusion, in fact, makes smart business sense. Having tracked diversity among leadership teams since 2014, McKinsey & Company determined that organizations in the top quartile by gender diversity financially outperformed those in the bottom quartile by 25 percent in 2019. Moreover, when executive teams are ethnically diverse, the enterprises financially outperform others by 36 percent.  

The path forward to an equitable system that enables individuals to achieve optimal health requires intentional leadership,” said Patrice Harris, MD, immediate past-President of the American Medical Association. Harris will serve as one of two emcees for the Health Evolution Confab 2021. ChristianaCare President and CEO Janice Nevin, MD, will join Harris at the virtual gathering on April 13-14, 2021

Apply to attend the Health Evolution Virtual Confab 2021

Health Evolution Confab, which takes place April 13-14, 2021, is a gathering of passionate leaders committed to health and social impact. The Confab community has honest conversations about leadership and pressing societal issues and, as such, the 2021 Confab will highlight initiatives that address racial diversity to accelerate health equity.   

“Leaders — women and men — come together at Confab to explore some of the most complex and challenging issues impacting health and wellbeing,” Nevin said. “The uniqueness of the voices in the room makes this gathering especially meaningful and effective.”  

The Confab agenda, designed to invigorate thinking and establish executive relationships that drive impactful change, include discussions about creating a culture of diversity and tolerance, increasing racial diversity to advance equity, leading with compassion and charting a path toward a more equitable health care system for all. 

To that extent, Health Evolution brings together cross-sector experts in every discussion.

Day 1 of the Confab will begin with opening remarks from Nevin and Harris. The initial discussion “2021 Reset: Creating a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion,” will feature Mandy Cohen, MD, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services with Lloyd Dean, CEO, CommonSpirit Health.

Laurie Zephyrin, MD, VP, Delivery System Reform, Commonwealth Fund will host “Racial Diversity in Leadership to Accelerate Health Equity,” with Nadine Burke Harris, MD, Surgeon General, State of California and Carrie Byington, MD, EVP, UC Health.

The final session on the first day, “Leadership Initiatives to Achieve a Measurable Impact on Communities,” includes J. Nwando Olayiwola, MD, SVP & Chief Health Equity Officer, Humana and Carladenise Edwards, SVP & CSO, Henry Ford Health System.  

After the opening remarks by Harris and Nevin, the first session on Day 2 will be “Health Assurance in the Workforce: Improving Employee Health Outcomes and Equity,” with Cheryl Pegus, MD, EVP of Health & Wellness, Walmart and additional leaders to be announced.

Following that discussion, the Confab 2021 will proceed into “Get Reals,” discussions in which leaders convene in small, intimate groups for candid conversations with peers about today’s most difficult challenges, including:

    • Catalyzing the Power of Diversity in Leadership Teams
    • Getting to 50:50 in the C-Suite
    • Activating Change: How Men Can Support Women Colleagues
    • Making an Impact in the Boardroom
    • Inspiring an Adaptive & Inclusive Culture
    • Measuring What Matters to Advance Health Equity

After the Get Reals, Alex Drane, Co-Founder, Board Chair, Eliza Corporation; CEO & Co-Founder, Rebel Health and ARCHANGELS; Health Evolution Leadership Committee, will host the Confab’s final discussion with Kim Keck, President & CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association; Health Evolution Leadership Committee and Penny Wheeler, MD, CEO Allina Health, titled “Servant Leadership: Serving Communities, Caregivers and Consumers.”  

“Leaders must be trustworthy by working hard to earn that trust; they must display humility when conversations are uncomfortable and complex; and effective leaders must commit to transformation in the equity, diversity and inclusion space,” Harris said. “It is critical that we gather leaders together to have these important conversations.”          

The Health Evolution Virtual Confab will take place April 13-14, 2021. Learn more

Tom Sullivan

Tom Sullivan brings more than two decades in editing and journalism experience to Health Evolution. Sullivan most recently served as Editor-in-Chief at HIMSS, leading Healthcare IT News, Health Finance, MobiHealthNews. Prior to HIMSS Media, Sullivan was News Editor of IDG’s InfoWorld, directing a dozen reporters’ coverage for the weekly print publication and daily website.