Add Your Voice to the Action for Cultural Transformation (ACT)

July 24, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Join us. Add your voice to the Action for Cultural Transformation (ACT) and be part of efforts to strengthen our culture. Today we want to brief you on the progress of this important work and remind you that this will not succeed without your input. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, who sadly passed away last week, once said, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.”

Our future as an inclusive and equitable organization depends greatly on what we all do today and in the days to come. Our goal in launching this initiative was to bring together as many diverse voices as possible to identify key goals and provide fresh insight on actions that will help move our organization forward.

Act on ACT: What You Can Do

Your feedback and ongoing participation are critical to ensure this plan will drive leadership, engagement, and accountability at all levels of Penn Medicine. Please do the following by July 31:

 1.           Review the plan to ACT: available on the OID website

2.            Share your feedback*: submit feedback and share your ideas

3.            Take Action*: get involved and volunteer to participate

 Act on ACT: What We’re Doing

•             Facilitated Discussions: Starting next week, entity volunteers, staff, students and leaders throughout Penn Medicine will host facilitated discussions to gather feedback on the six areas of focus of the ACT initiative. The issues we are tackling are complex and therefore, it important for us to listen and learn from one another, as we transform our culture. These discussions will help us brainstorm, refine and prioritize ideas generated. The input gathered will be synthesized to inform our path forward. We anticipate completing the discussions by the end of August and sharing key insights, as well as next steps by mid-September.

•             Unconscious Bias Training: In addition to the ACT initiative, we immediately launched unconscious bias training for all faculty and staff. The workshops will reach managers and leaders throughout the organization through the end of the summer. By the end of the calendar year, the trainings will expand to include all Penn Medicine employees, faculty, students and trainees. Already over 800 of your colleagues have completed the training in the last few weeks, including members of the senior leadership team.

 Just Do Its (JDI)

Just Do Its are quick, easy actions that each of us can take to make an immediate difference toward establishing and supporting and inclusive culture across Penn Medicine. Recent JDI actions taken across our organization include:

•             As a first step towards addressing items in our physical spaces that are not inclusive and may offend individuals based on their culture, gender, or background, a portrait is being removed from the OBGYN conference room at HUP

•             Removal of “race” as a correction factor for determining estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR)

•             Chester County Hospital is partnering with local schools to develop a pipeline to hire minorities

•             PPMC implicit bias education for night staff through an educational series called Coffee Talk.

•             Vice Dean of Education: Establish Grants for Health Disparities Research and/or Coursework for medical students

 We look forward to working with all of you in the coming weeks and months to transform our culture and bring about change at Penn Medicine. If you have questions about these initiatives, please contact the Office of Inclusion and Diversity at

 J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and Dean, Perelman School of Medicine

Kevin B. Mahoney, CEO, University of Pennsylvania Health System

*If you have trouble accessing these forms, please email