Southwell promoted Jill McIntyre to be new Director of Diversity

Jill McIntyre has been promoted to director of diversity for Southwell and Tift Regional Medical Center. 

This story has been corrected to reflect that Jill McIntyre is director of diversity at Tift Regional Medical Center.

TIFTON – Amid the battle with COVID-19,  Tift Regional Health System has focused its attention on ensuring a diverse workforce in Tifton's biggest employer.

"While we have focused on keeping our community safe and healthy, we have also been working to ensure our commitment to diversity and inclusion is unambiguous throughout our organization," said Christopher Dorman, Southwell and Tift Regional Medical Center chief executive officer. 

Two ways Tift Regional Medical Center has attempted to cultivate a diverse work environment is through the creation of a diversity and inclusion council and promoting Jill McIntyre as the director of diversity. 

Dorman said the council will lead and strengthen the ongoing efforts to uphold cultural diversity and work to acknowledge, address and confront differences in a positive way.

He added the council will evaluate specific areas to support and enhance diversity and inclusion, including patient care, employment, leadership and training and education. 

McIntyre has served with Tift Regional Medical Center for the last 18-plus years. She will chair the the diversity and inclusion council and work hand in hand with council members to implement system-wide changes that promote a culture of inclusion and ensure Southwell has the proper education and support to uphold its core values, Dorman said. 

"We are grateful that she has agreed to step into this important role for us and are confident she will help guide us on this journey," Dorman said. 

The 12-member inclusion council includes Dorman, Alex Le, vice president and chief operating officer, Joyce Mims, board of directors, Wasdon Graydon, board of directors, Dr. Cameron Nixon, chief transformation officer, Dr. Rubal Patel, director of pulmonary critical care, Amber Goodman, emergency department assistant nurse manager, Karen Rodriguez, medical staff office credentialing coordinator, Joseph Dallas Moore, Southwell radiology tech, Kim Barnes, day surgery registered nurse, Jose Abantao, physical therapist.

"We work hard every day to foster a culture that treats everyone with whom we work and serve with kindness and respect. But over the last several weeks, I’ve asked myself and others: Is that enough?" Dorman said.

After accepting the promotion as diversity director, McIntyre said she has received a warm response from her coworkers. 

"A lot have had questions about what changes they can expect and what programs we will offer to better educate our community on these issues," McIntyre said. "I’ve also received messages from previous leaders at Southwell/Tift Regional who have offered support, advice and counsel and who want to serve as a resource on this issue.”

McIntyre said she has set goals she plans to accomplish.

“As director, I want to see to it that diversity and inclusion will be fully institutionalized into our culture – not something we have to talk about each day, but an awareness and a sense of respect that’s in our DNA. 

“As director, I want to see to it that diversity and inclusion will be fully institutionalized into our culture – not something we have to talk about each day, but an awareness and a sense of respect that’s in our DNA.

"We want to be the provider of choice, to deliver the best possible health outcomes and experience for our patients and for them to walk away feeling understood and cared for,” she said.

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