December Diversity Dialogue: Addressing Religious Diversity in Health Care

November 14, 2013

In a country where 92% of residents believe in God, religious beliefs and practices can have a strong impact on the health care decisions that patients and families make.  Religion shapes the lens through which both health care practitioners and patients experience a health care encounter in areas such as modesty, acceptance of drugs and procedures, reproductive health and end-of-life. Failing to recognize religious needs when they arise, can erode trust between patient and provider, hamper communication, and ultimately marginalize certain cultural and religious groups, leading to health disparities, inequities and substandard care. 

In addition, increasing cultural and religious diversity within the health care workforce leads to a unique set of challenges that managers may not be prepared to respond to and proactively address in areas such as attire, prayer, scheduling and conscience. 

In this session, Lynn Stoller, Senior Program Associate at the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, will discuss the multi-layered role that religion plays in a health care setting and will offer recommendations on how health care leaders and diversity professionals can effectively and respectfully address the religious needs of both patients and employees.

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Pamela Janniere
Manager, Membership and Education

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