This time last year, protests broke out across the world with people outraged by the injustice and violence that led to the deaths of George Floyd and far too many other Black lives.
The renewed focus on racial justice presented Starlight Children’s Foundation with the opportunity to reflect on our organizational efforts in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We recognized we could do more and committed to the following:
Work with our hospital partners to identify how we could better design and distribute our programs to underserved and vulnerable communities
Prioritize our efforts to serve more Black and underserved families with seriously ill kids.
Look internally at how we could be more inclusive and diverse.
Last year, Starlight launched Commitment for Change—an equity, diversity, and inclusion initiative to deliver Starlight programs to more medically underserved and vulnerable populations.
We’ve made strides in the last year to better understand the patient population of hospital partners and help direct programs to those facilities with a large percentage of patients living in poverty.
We’ve also started prioritizing hospital partners with small child life teams and smaller budgets by granting them early access to Starlight programs with limited quantities.
47.2% of the patient population positively impacted by Starlight programs identify as non-white
62% of the medical facilities receiving Starlight programs are serving high poverty populations
38.2% of the patients Starlight serves benefit from Medicare/Medicaid services
This year, we will continue to expand our reach by increasing efforts to engage hospital partners serving pediatric patients in medically underserved and vulnerable areas.
We are also working with our corporate partnerships team to support new opportunities that will allow our Starlight Deliveries program to feature more inclusive items like dolls and toys in various ethnicities and foreign language books and activity kits.
Internally, we created a staff committee to discuss topics focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The group offers a comfortable environment for team members to come together and review a specific topic and provide ideas on how Starlight can be more inclusive and diverse in our external communications.
Starlight has diversified our Board and staff by gender and ethnicity and changed our recruiting process to ensure it is equitable across applicants and colleagues.
But there’s still more we can do as an organization.
This is our commitment to you, our Starlight family, that we will continue to strive for equal access to our programs and ensure diversity at all levels of our organization.