Sharp HealthCare leaders and employees from Sharp entities around San Diego County took part in the annual San Diego Pride Parade and Festival. Together, in a sea of orange and blue T-shirts, Sharp employees showed their support for the LGBTQ community by walking in the event’s signature parade.
“Sharp has participated in San Diego Pride for the last few years,” says Bruce Hartman, director of marketing at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. “It’s incredible to watch the support grow as an organization and the number of employees and leaders who walk in the parade. Everyone comes together to increase Sharp’s visibility in the community.”
Hartman, along with committee chair members John Aganon, Donna Dasinger and Thomas Hayes, collaborated with Sharp leaders to help shape the direction and focus of the Sharp Equality Alliance, or SEA. The group’s goal is to enhance Sharp HealthCare’s mission, vision and values by being a catalyst for embracing diversity and celebrating equality of all 18,000 Sharp employees and the community Sharp serves.
Members of the SEA committee bring unique perspectives from their own diverse backgrounds and personal experiences. SEA members work with Ky Lewis, senior vice president of human resources and general counsel at Sharp, the committee’s executive sponsor and other Sharp leaders to ensure the committee’s goals as an alliance aligns with Sharp’s overall mission and values around diversity.
“As someone who is passionate about diversity and inclusion, it makes me proud to work for a company that embraces and celebrates diversity,” adds Dasinger, manager of cardiology at Sharp Memorial Hospital, who also took part in the Pride parade.
SEA is also promoting mental health awareness within Sharp HealthCare and in the community. As an organization, Sharp supported the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on its stigma-free initiative, by encouraging employees to fight the stigma of mental illness and take a stigma-free pledge. Dozens of Sharp employees also took part in the NAMI walk at Liberty Station to demonstrate how Sharp seeks to cultivate a company culture of caring and engagement around mental health.
Additionally, the SEA will serve as a resource for diversity in a number of areas, including staff education and empowerment, communications and community engagement. SEA’s activities and initiatives include educational forums, participation in ethnic festivals, support of health-related issues, as well as involvement in notable local celebrations and events, such as the Pride Parade and Festival.
For the news media: To talk with a member of the Sharp Equality Alliance for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was updated in June 2018.