WellSpan Health today announced the promotion of Kimberly Brister to the role of vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. She is the first person to hold this position within the organization. Brister has led the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts since 2019, holding the previous title of senior director of talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion.
With the latest promotion, Brister will focus 100 percent of her capacity on advancing the organization’s efforts to build a diverse workforce and strengthen its inclusive culture and is backed by the resources of an official office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“Kim has been instrumental in strengthening and representing WellSpan’s position and response to issues of discrimination, bias and racism in our institutions and communities,” said Roxanna Gapstur Ph.D., R.N., president and chief executive officer, WellSpan Health. “And she is the dynamic leader needed to guide our continued focus on recognizing and appreciating our unique differences as individuals, and advance a culture where every person feels respected, included and valued.”
The appointment is the latest step in WellSpan’s long-range strategy to build an engaged, diverse workforce representative of its diverse communities, and an equitable and inclusive workplace where individuals from every background and lived experience have the opportunity to excel in their chosen career path.
“At WellSpan our mission is to provide exceptional care for all and to do that we must understand and respect the differences of everyone in our care,” Brister said. “We gain strength when our diverse workforce is empowered to serve our diverse community, and it all starts when an organization creates a place where everyone feels safe to share ideas that reflect their unique experiences.”
Brister is the recent recipient of the Central Penn Business Journal 2021 Women of Influence Award as well as the Diversity Impact Award from the York County Economic Alliance for her efforts on the Confronting Racism Coalition.
“The conversations we are having to address bias and inequality may feel uncomfortable, but we know that discomfort can generate self-awareness which can lead to self-improvement,” explained Brister. “All of our team members own a part in creating an environment where our colleagues and patients feel safe, respected and valued.”
WellSpan recently committed to the CEO ACT!ON Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion, an initiative that outlines a specific set of actions to be taken by participating organizations to advance diversity & inclusion efforts; and has signed on to the Pennsylvania Values Business Pledge as an employer in favor of updating the State’s nondiscrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity, ensuring Pennsylvania businesses can recruit and retain the best talent.
Brister has a Master of Business Administration in healthcare administration from the University of Phoenix. She has earned the Diversity & Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University. She is actively involved in numerous community organizations, including the York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program (YCCOSP) of York College of Pennsylvania; the United Way Board of Directors and Leadership Giving Circle Committee; the YWCA of York County Board of Directors, a member of the York County Community Foundation’s Racial Equity Committee, and the Confronting Racism Coalition and Big Brothers Big Sisters of York & Adams Counties, where she previously served as board president.
To learn more about becoming a part of WellSpan’s inclusive team, visit www.JoinWellSpan.org.