Break down your built-in barriers

Ideas in organizations die all the time, not because they’re bad ideas, but because they don’t have an owner. One thing became clear to me while working on the last Associations now In depth on diversity, equity and inclusion, the success of any program is highly dependent on intentionality: organizations must commit to concrete goals and ensure that there are people who are committed to them. held responsible.

At the Case Manager Certification Commission, this process accelerated in 2019, when it created a DEI subcommittee. According to CEO MaryBeth Kurland, CAE, volunteer leaders were concerned that some communities were being excluded from the profession on several fronts – because CCMC had defined its membership base too narrowly, made access to its credentials too difficult and n was not doing enough to reach diverse groups of potential certifiers.

“We were asking, what should we be doing in this space as an accreditation body?” Kurland said. “We wanted to make sure there were no barriers to certification or recertification or review.”

“There are tons of qualified nurses and social workers who are not white women over 45 – how do we reach these people?”

MaryBeth Kurland, CAE

CCMC embarked on this process knowing that there was a diversity gap that needed to be filled. “If you look at the profile of our typical case manager, most case managers even now are probably white women over 45 who are nurses,” she says. “And what we’ve said is we have to do something about changing the needle, because there are tons of qualified nurses and social workers who aren’t white women over 45 – how can we reach these people?”

One answer to this question was simply to start making connections. During the pandemic, CCMC reached out to Black, Hispanic, and Asian nursing associations to raise awareness about the organization and invite members to present at its conferences. Along with this effort, CCMC has lowered barriers to accessing certification opportunities, reducing fees and creating more free educational tools. He also started a workforce development initiative where, says Kurland, “we were trying to encourage more people earlier in their careers, from a variety of backgrounds, to get certified, or at least consider case management and disability management as potential professions”.

For better or worse, the stress of the healthcare industry during the pandemic – and the ensuing staff turnover – has created an opportunity for CCMC to rethink its community and its certification process.

“The pressure on the healthcare system and the people who would be eligible for certification is real — the big quit is real,” Kurland says. “The hope is that because many organizations, hospitals and insurance companies need to recruit to bring more people into these spaces, it may bring in new faces who might consider [case management] careers.”

Achieving this goal will take time, but there is evidence that the approach can work: the Casualty Actuarial Society, for example, saw increased diversity among people taking its certification exams after the CAS stepped up its outreach efforts direct. A mix of marketing, direct inquiries and awareness of candidate needs will be essential for CCMC to grow. “We take a multi-pronged approach,” says Kurland. “Hopefully we will see more growth.”

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