The Mount Sinai Health System has announced the Growth in Operations, Administrations, and Leadership Society (GOALS), an initiative to increase the representation of Black men at the middle and upper levels of management by creating pathways for career advancement through networking, mentorship, and advancement opportunities. This initiative furthers Mount Sinai's continuing commitment to growing a diverse workplace and providing equitable care for patients.
I had the pleasure of being a member of the first cohort of the Black Executive Acceleration Program (BEAP), and now I have the pleasure of ushering in the first cohort of the new GOALS initiative. The BEAP is aimed at assisting African American men and women at the executive levels, and the GOALS initiative is focused on helping Black men, specifically, advance from lower and entry-level positions."
Leroy Francis, MPH, Administrative Director of Cardiovascular Services at Mount Sinai Queens
The GOALS initiative will partner with executive leadership from Human Resources and Talent, Development, and Learning to grant cohort members exclusive interviews for career advancement. Also, if needed, Talent, Development, and Learning will provide slots in their certificate courses. The cohort candidates will be handpicked GOALS members, interviewed by the GOALS counsel, and introduced to Human Resources for opportunities at open internal positions at Mount Sinai. In addition to the cohort, the GOALS initiative will host quarterly meetings and social networking mixers. The first cohort will launch this spring.
"Our efforts will solidify the 'goals' for the initiative and the commitment from Mount Sinai to advance diversity and equity," said Anthony Smalls, MBA, Program Manager for Shared Resources in Research Operations and Infrastructure in the Office of the Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "The increase of Black men at the middle and upper levels will address the significant need for change and, hopefully, eliminate the classification of underrepresented groups."
GOALS held its first gathering of like-minded Black men in leadership from across the Health System in September 2022 to discuss shared professional journeys, obstacles, and a commitment to creating a support system for other Black men who join the Mount Sinai community. "As a Black man, you can feel alone, like nobody cares," Mr. Smalls said. "Our gathering revealed that I was not the only one who felt alone. Thus, our initiative will find talented employees who have felt the same and put them in the opportunities vehicle for success."
GOALS is one of many innovative programs under the Friends of ODysseus Mentoring Program (FOD) at Mount Sinai. Launched in 2017 by Reginald W. Miller, DVM, DACLAM, Dean for Research Operations and Infrastructure, Icahn Mount Sinai, FOD was created to support Black male medical students navigating Mount Sinai by providing mentoring in career advancement. FOD mentoring programs also include Scholars-athletes With Academic Goals (SWAG), which offers a financial literacy series, roundtable discussions, and a pipeline initiative for junior high, high school, and college students interested in science and medicine. The program has since expanded to include other underrepresented groups, including Latinx men and women, as well as staff and faculty throughout the Mount Sinai Health System.
GOALS will provide a safe space for discussions on structural racism and tools to overcome challenges to encourage and empower Black professionals in the program. It will also leverage existing programs and opportunities within Mount Sinai to provide networking opportunities and professional development offered by Talent, Development, and Learning.
"We hope this program will grow the numbers of Black men in mid- and upper-level positions in our Health System and will encourage other health care organizations to initiate programs of this kind that address the need for change in the workplace and eliminate the classification of underrepresented groups," Mr. Smalls said.
Along with Messrs. Francis and Smalls, GOALS founding members and leadership team include Shawn Lee, Associate Director of Operations at Mount Sinai Health System; Robbie Ricard, Director of Construction at Mount Sinai Morningside; and James McIntosh, MS, Operations Manager at Mount Sinai Morningside. The initiative continues Mount Sinai's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and is the second mentorship program for Black professionals launched during the pandemic. In March 2021, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion launched Black Women Leaders Connect, an initiative focused on increasing the numbers of Black women in executive roles at the Health System and mentoring the next generation of leaders within the Mount Sinai community.