By Stacy M. Menz, PT, DPT
This month our issue is about diversity.
Diversity, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety.” This topic touches many aspects of our world and is discussed widely. So, we asked the question, how does this apply to us as physical therapists and business owners? We consider this from the perspective of the patients we serve, but also as importantly, our employees.
Diversity encompasses gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, political affiliation or view, and culture to name a few. Are we prepared to include diverse populations however they appear? The American Physical Therapy Association has a focus on enhancing diversity, inclusion, and equity as part of its strategic plan. In alignment with this, it’s good practice for us to regularly take a look at our policies and procedures, marketing messages, intake paperwork, staff training and education, hiring practices, and so on to see how we are each including these principles into our practices.
In this issue you’ll read about how to create marketing statements that appeal to a diverse population; how you can build cultural competence within your workplace and what fundamental principles are involved; and why it is important to build a diverse staff and how it can benefit your overall practice. We also take a look at the differences between diversity and inclusivity and how respect is fundamental.
It is important to keep these topics top of mind as you continually build and grow your practice as well as when you update your strategic plan.