Diversity: it’s right there in our name. The “tribal” in Tribal EM tells you (hopefully) that we care passionately about transforming healthcare for Indigenous people. And that in a larger sense, we’re committed to a world of more equitable opportunities and expert care for all, regardless of someone’s background, identity, or resources. Good health isn’t just about what happens in an exam room or on an operating table; it’s influenced by all the social and environmental factors that come before and after those healthcare encounters.

But as our Dr. Alcala likes to say, “Intent doesn’t equal impact.” Our intentions may be to offer a positive and vibrant workplace for our team, and an exceptional, compassionate experience for our patients. Yet it’s our responsibility to ensure the impact measures up as well, which is why we’re launching a new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) program.

Specifically, we conducted an internal survey and formed a task force to find out where we’re failing and succeeding in these areas, and how we can do better. We’re hiring an EDI leader and designing new initiatives. We launched a book club to foster honest discussions and explore new ideas.

And to formalize our commitment, we’ve added Inclusion to our Core Values. Inclusion: We celebrate our differences and welcome everyone into a safe, healing environment where every team member’s differences and perspective are valued.

Bringing Our Mission to Life

Tribal EM’s mission is to provide culturally informed care to underserved patients and strengthen those communities. Every healthcare patient deserves fair, equitable care, but the communities we serve have experienced a unique brand of historical trauma and past injustices from the medical industry.

It’s our opportunity and obligation to reinvent the Indigenous healthcare experience – and that includes care that is knowledgeable, compassionate, and respectful of cultural nuances. We hold team interactions, whether front-line staff or leadership or administration, to the same standard. EDI is not a side program for us but embedded into our mission.

An Invitation to Inclusion and Change

Values only come to life when we practice them every day. Enron chiseled their values of Integrity, Communication, Respect, and Excellence into marble in the corporate lobby – but that didn’t stop their leaders from plunging the company into a greed-fueled nightmare. Transformation demands action. That means we’re committed to:

  • Valuing diverse perspectives and respecting people of all cultures, identities, and backgrounds
  • Having the courage to have honest conversations and the humility to change
  • Building appreciative and authentic relationships with each other, our patients, and our clients
  • Refining our screening and hiring practices to ensure all team members are aligned with our mission and principles
  • Ensuring every healthcare professional delivers compassionate, equitable, and informed patient care

Ultimately, EDI is a learning curve. It’s a lifelong commitment; for Tribal EM, it’s the engine of our success. This is something we’ll continue to report on, pursue, and explore in every way we can. We invite you to join us in living these principles and making healthcare transformation a reality.