Hospital association and NAACP embattled over diversity reporting

The Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are arguing about public reporting on commitments to diversity after CHA released a report on Monday. The NAACP said that CHA is not committed to diversity or corporate responsibility because of a lack of responses to survey requests from the NAACP, reports the Associated Press.

Although CHA, which represents 29 of the 30 hospitals in the state, contends it has made significant strides in diversity in the last few years, the NAACP is dissatisfied with their lack of data on hiring practices and vendor use, notes the AP.

In 2008, the NAACP asked CHA to participate in a survey about hospital recruiting, marketing, and philanthropy around minorities. Since then, only one hospital (University of Connecticut Health) has filled out the NAACP survey. The other hospitals that did not participate say they could not release proprietary information to the NAACP.

"It's arrogant, and it's proof to their lack of commitment to diversity and corporate responsibility," Connecticut NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile told the AP.

However, the CHA report released on Monday highlights what it calls "achievements" made since 2009, according to a CHA press release, including the first statewide diversity collaborative and work with the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council to identify minority-owned vendors that offer services to hospitals.

"The fact is, our members are extremely committed, and we believe that over time this will become evident," said CHA in a statement, notes the AP. "We've announced our intentions publicly, and we expect to be held accountable. We know we have a lot of work to do. And we welcome the input of community leaders and partners as we move forward."

The NAACP has solicited the help of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's chief of staff, Timothy Bannon, who said, "It's a major disappointment that they would behave at this level of indifference." He said, "When it takes two years to formulate a series of initiatives and you spent those two years ignoring a request for information, I'm somewhat challenged to believe that the initiatives are going to be carried out effectively."

To learn more:
- read the AP article
- check out the CHA press release (.pdf)