Our vision

Being a leader in anti-racism

Our vision is to be a leader in dismantling racism in ourselves, in our system and in our community.

We've worked hard to improve our diversity, equity and inclusion over the past few years, but we know that what we've done is not enough. We need to do more, and we need to do better. To fulfill our vision, we are working to achieve three primary goals – create a culture of anti-racism and inclusion, deliver healthcare that is equitable and inclusive and reduce health inequities by addressing social determinants of health.

Engaged leadership

UW Health leadership supports diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives throughout the organization and recognizes that all patients, families, faculty and staff deserve to feel safe and respected at UW Health. We will continue to be open to learning and growing as individuals and as an organization. It is our responsibility, and it is simply the right thing to do.

Alan S. Kaplan, MD, UW Health Chief Executive Officer, and Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, VP, Chief Diversity Officer, share UW Health's vision for being a leader in the community through its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.


DEI learning, policies and equity tools

Through a wide variety of initiatives and teams, we work toward our goal of an inclusive workplace.

Walking the talk

Diversity is a strength of UW Health. Our workforce and the patients we serve include people from all backgrounds and identities, and we celebrate those differences. To protect our team members and our patients, UW Health has adopted policies and tools that dismantle racism and bigotry of any kind. UW Health also provides its employees with various DEI-focused training programs for personal and professional growth.

Read about highlights and the impact of progress on our strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion (pdf)

A UW Health employee standing in front of the cinema marquee inside the American Family Children's Hospital
Employee resource groups

Voluntary, employee-led employee resource groups (ERGs) foster a diverse and inclusive workplace aligned with our vision and goals. These groups focus on the experiences and perspectives of our employees who identify as Black/African/African American, Latinx, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, Women in leadership and Military service members. ERGs provide safe opportunities for employees to network, pursue professional and personal development and improve cultural understanding.

Healthcare Equality Index Award Logo
Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality designation

UW Health in Wisconsin is proud to be designated a “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” in the 2024 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). The HEI is created by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, one of the nation’s largest nonprofits committed to supporting LGBTQ+ individuals, allies and institutions. Three UW Health Hospitals in Madison, Wis. — University Hospital, American Family Children's Hospital and East Madison Hospital — all earned the coveted “Leader” designation. Our Gender Services Program is a key part of our comprehensive commitment to exceptional and affirming care.

A medical provider and an interpreter communicating with a patient in a hospital room
Language access and interpreter services

Because good communication is essential to high-quality, compassionate health care, UW Health offers a variety of language services to assist patients and families who are Limited English-Proficient and/or Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing at no cost.

Meet Rodolfo, one of our medical interpreters
Two health care providers are a Black Lives Matter demonstration
Graduate Medical Education (GME)

At UW Health, we want our Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs to reflect the communities we serve. That’s why we make diversity, equity and inclusion top priorities. We’ve worked closely with residents, fellows, faculty and staff to develop best practices and trainings to ensure that our work, study, research and health care environments are welcoming and supportive to everyone.

Community relations

Anti-racism funding

We donate to organizations, who are on the frontlines, addressing inequities ranging from the immediate to the long-term.

A UW Health donation check being presented to leaders at a Black Women's Wellness Day conference
Leading with trust and equity in our giving philosophy

Our Community Relations, Population Health and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Departments partner with community organizations to dismantle racism, address health disparities and support the work being done within our communities.

Population health

Working towards health equity for all

As a health system we recognize racism as a public health crisis.

Two children standing, straddling bicycles
Addressing the social determinants of health

UW Health believes all people deserve access to quality health. However, research suggests that non-clinical factors such as physical environment, social and economic factors and health behaviors impact patient outcomes more than the clinical care they receive. In order to truly improve the health of our patients and communities, DEI works with our population health and community relations partners to build programs and services to address systemic and structural inequities.

A man wearing a mask, receiving a vaccination
Community Health Improvement

As part of the Healthy Dane Collaborative, UW Health recently assessed the health of the community through the lens of health inequities that can be linked to social, economic or environmental factors. Through this effort, UW Health heard community members voice a desire for equal opportunity, resources and respect and culturally responsive care, among other themes. We are actively and intentionally working to address longstanding health inequities through internal and external initiatives.

A physician of color talking with a patient
Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

As an Accountable Care Organization, UW Health and its partners are committed to putting you at the center of care, keeping you informed and honoring your choices, customs and beliefs. We work to better coordinate your care whether you are in the primary care office, seeing a specialist, admitted to the hospital or at home.

Patient care

Gender Services

We help transgender, gender expansive and non-binary adults and children get quality health care.

A sign representing equality between male, female and transgender
Affirming and supportive care

UW Health supports transgender, gender expansive and non-binary patients by not only providing top-notch medical and surgical services, but also by partnering with associations and community partners to ensure each patient’s journey balances the physical, psychological and emotional needs to live a happy and full life.