Through workers' voices, St. Luke's Health showcases its diversity

July 2023


St. Luke's Health is using a video platform to spotlight the diverse cultures and experiences of its workers.


Tyler Peavy, director of clinical integration networks for the Houston-based system that is part of CommonSpirit Health, discussed the videos that make up the Listening to Our Voices series at a session of the 2023 Catholic Health Assembly.

Peavy said the goals of the campaign are twofold. One is to show St. Luke's employees that there are others with similar backgrounds to their own working alongside them.

Andrea Foster, a family nurse practitioner, shares her perspective in a video that is part of St. Luke's Health's series called Listening to Our Voices. The Houston-based system is sharing the videos, which spotlight the diversity within its workforce, internally and on its social media channels.

The second goal, Peavy said, is to make patients aware of the diversity of the system's workforce. The hope is that if patients see care providers who look like them and have similar backgrounds to their own, they will be more comfortable on their visits to St. Luke's facilities, he added.

St. Luke's is rolling out the videos monthly. Each is about three minutes long. Staff are viewing the videos as reflections at the start of meetings. The screenings are typically followed by discussions about what the video brought to mind, Peavy said.

"This is not just a black or white thing," he noted. "There's so many different backgrounds and different walks of life people bring to the table each and every day."

'A beautiful experience'
Angela Hudson, division director of marketing-communications at St. Luke's, said that while the videos showcase the diversity of the system's workforce, they also are a reminder of what unites the staff. "When you have those moments in your work where you have an opportunity just to be really centered on who your colleagues are and the common mission that you share with them, it is a beautiful experience," Hudson said.


St. Luke's is promoting and sharing the videos on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media.

Hudson noted that St. Luke's footprint covers about 22,000 square miles in a part of Texas that is rich in cultural diversity. The system's workforce and volunteers number 21,000.

She said an objective of the campaign is to "build trust and transparency" in St. Luke's. To that end, she said, the videos reflect candid and unscripted comments made by workers to a series of questions. Though the videos are edited, she said the viewpoints shared are authentic.

"We did not even provide employees with the questions in advance of the interviews," she said. "We gave them some sense of the project and told them we just want to hear their stories. We want to hear how their personal and professional stories intersect."

One purpose
One of the first videos released features Enrique Contreras y Martinez, director of mission at St. Luke's Health — The Woodlands Hospital and a native of Mexico. He talks about the language and cultural challenges he had to overcome to get an education.

"As a leader, I tell people 'You can do this. It might not look like you can right now, but you will,'" he said in the video.

Martinez said one of the reasons he has stayed with St. Luke's is "because of the respect that we have for others." He said the system and its parent value the backgrounds and experiences of its workers and how the individual gifts of each enhance the whole.

"Not until we all become one can we be a transformative presence," Martinez said. "I think CommonSpirit really encompasses this prayer of Christ himself that all will be one for one purpose."

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