Mayo Clinic earns recognition for efforts in disability-inclusion practices

Mayo Clinic has been recognized by the U.S. Business Leadership Network and the American Association of People With Disabilities for its efforts in its disability inclusion efforts. On a survey of Fortune 1,000 companies, Mayo Clinic was 1 of 42 companies that scored a perfect 100 on the Disability Equality Index. Mayo Clinic is featured on the 2016 DEI Best Places to Work list.

"It is an honor for Mayo Clinic to be recognized among the leaders in disability-inclusion practices," says Sharonne Hayes, M.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and director of Mayo's Office of Diversity and Inclusion. "Mayo prides itself on bringing healing, hope and inclusiveness for not just our patients, but our employees, as well."

The Disability Mayo Employee Resource Group plays a vital role in improving the work environment and patient experience for those with disabilities.

Mayo Clinic created its Return to Work Program more than 30 years ago. Mayo collaborates with a variety of external organizations, including Rochester Public Schools, Olmsted County, the Minnesota Department of Education, and Regional Workforce Investment Board.

Return to Work brings together Occupational Health Services, employees, their supervisors and Human Resources to bring supports to employees as they recover from an injury or illness by providing accommodations that allow employees to return to the position they held before their disability, keep employees at work in a transitional job until a return to a regular assignment, or help employees in a job search if they cannot continue in their current role.

"We look at retention of employees with disabilities as just as important as hiring and recruiting employees with disabilities," says Jane Ryan, section head of Return to Work at Mayo Clinic. "Our job is to find out what the obstacles are and to find a solution."

Disability Equality Index points are awarded in four categories: Culture and Leadership, Enterprise-wide Access, Employment Practices, and Community Engagement and Support Services.

Highlights from the 2016 Disability Equality Index include:
•In the inaugural index, 66 percent of surveyed companies had a disability-focused employee resource group , with 64 percent having an executive sponsor (vice president or higher). In the 2016 survey, 84 percent of participating companies had an employee resource group and 81 percent had an executive sponsor
•In the first index, 75 percent of companies reported senior executive teams (within first two levels of the CEO) supporting disability inclusion through board or working group membership or public statements.
"The Disability Mayo Employee Resource Group gives a voice to people's concerns and stories, lets people know it is OK to talk about having a disability and how change can be initiated," says Kristi Carrington, a return to work consultant at Mayo Clinic and past chair of the Disability Mayo Employee Resource Group. "I think that's one of the best things about Mayo," Carrington says. "We have so many resources internally that we can really make things happen."

Source: Mayo Clinic

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