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Sharp Health News

Embracing diversity, celebrating equality

July 13, 2017

Embracing diversity, celebrating equality

Sharp HealthCare employees and their families and friends at San Diego Pride in 2016.

This weekend, Sharp HealthCare leaders and employees from Sharp entities around San Diego County will take part in the 2017 San Diego Pride Parade and Festival. Together, in a sea of orange and blue T-shirts, Sharp employees will show 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 by the number of employees and leaders we have walking in the parade. I’m proud to see everyone coming together to show their support and increase Sharp’s visibility in the community.”

Hartman, along with committee chair members John Aganon, Donna Dasinger and Thomas Hayes, recently 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 is also taking part in this year’s Pride parade.

SEA is also promoting mental health awareness within Sharp HealthCare and in the community. As an organization, Sharp recently 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 future activities and initiatives include employee “breakfast club” educational forums, participation in ethnic festivals, support of health-related issues, as well as involvement in notable local celebrations and events, such as this year’s 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

This story was updated in June 2018.

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