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Sharp Health News

Embracing diversity, celebrating equality

July 12, 2019

The 2019 San Diego Pride Parade and Festival will mark a major milestone: the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion in New York, which ignited the LGBTQ movement for equal rights in the U.S.

Together, in a sea of blue T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Embracing Diversity, Celebrating Equality,” Sharp HealthCare leaders and employees will walk in the event’s signature parade to pay tribute to the historical occasion and show their support for the LGBTQ community.

“This is the fifth year that Sharp has participated in San Diego Pride,” 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 team members who walk in the parade. Everyone comes together in the spirt of fun, and it’s empowering for us to walk along the parade route to the cheers of 200,000 San Diegans.”

Sharp’s involvement in the Pride Festival is organized through the Sharp Equality Alliance, or SEA, a group of Sharp employees dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment at the organization and increasing Sharp’s visibility and involvement among the various San Diego populations it serves.

Hartman, along with SEA committee chair members John Aganon, Donna Dasinger and Thomas Hayes, collaborate with leaders and employees across Sharp’s hospitals and entities to help shape the direction and focus of SEA. Members of the SEA committee bring unique perspectives from their own diverse backgrounds and personal experiences.

The group partners with Lisa Allen, senior vice president of human resources and talent management at Sharp, to ensure its efforts align 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,” says Donna Dasinger, manager of cardiology at Sharp Memorial Hospital. Dasinger walks in the parade with family and co-workers.

In addition to the annual pride parade and festival, through SEA Sharp employees take part in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in downtown San Diego. SEA also promotes 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 participate in the NAMI walk at Liberty Station.

Besides community engagement, SEA serves as a resource in clinical and staff education and empowerment. Through its Breakfast Club forums, SEA has explored issues and topics including disparities in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease affecting the African American community, the Chaldean experience and its influence on health care, transgender health, mental health and adolescents, among others.

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 erica.carlson@sharp.com.

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