Hospital hires first diversity director
BRATTLEBORO - Brattleboro Memorial Hospital announces it has hired the organization’s first-ever director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Gail Somers.
Somers comes to BMH from C&S Wholesale Grocers in Keene, NH, where she held a series of management roles in finance, sales administration, and customer development. She also serves on a number of area boards, including as chair and head of the Social Justice Committee Keene YMCA Community Anti-Racism and Equity Task Force, and steering committee member of BIPOC - NH Business Association for People of Color New Hampshire.
Since her start in July, Somers has worked to further develop BMH’s Council on Racial Equity, which includes both BMH employees and community members. She also plans to capitalize on BMH’s ongoing efforts to provide positive, affirming, and barrier-free medical care for LGBTQ+ individuals.
Somers’ plans for the future include development of a DEI mission statement that will help give BMH’s diversity and anti-stigma efforts a public face. She will also help establish a hospitalwide DEI council to address a broad range of diversity-related issues including those affecting LGBTQ+ individuals.
In recent years BMH has launched a number of initiatives aimed at breaking down the health care barriers typically experienced by people who identify as LGBTQ+. All hospital providers and staff, for example, have been trained in LGBTQ+ affirming health care practices, as well as the inclusive use of personal pronouns.
Somers will soon be conducting an organization-wide assessment designed to assess BMH’s culture at present, and build a path forward toward greater workforce diversity along with increased engagement between BMH and marginalized communities.