Lisa Griffin of Jefferson Health Talks Race and Inequity (Pt. 3)

July 10, 2020

Peter Wehrwein, senior editor at Managed Healthcare Executive, spoke with Lisa Griffin, senior vice president of front-end operations at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, about the pivot to telehealth, "seamless access" and racism.

Here are some excerpts shown and not shown in our interview with Lisa Griffin, vice president of front-end operations Jefferson Health. They have been edited for length and clarity.

On race and inequity

I am finished my dissertation around that subject in a healthcare environment, so it is close to my heart to make sure that we're dealing with those things.

Related: Lisa Griffin of Jefferson Health Talks Telehealth, COVID-19 (Pt. 1)

I came here because that conversation is an open conversation. We have a team that's called B.R.A.V.E. [Bold, Relevant, Authentic, Valuable and Educational]. And that B.R.A.V.E. team allows us to have those types of discussions. The one thing I can tell people is be OK with being uncomfortable — with uncomfortable conversations. And sometimes you have to look at it in that perspective and be OK with someone else's viewpoint and being challenged by that viewpoint, because we all have a viewpoint.

Early on in my life I was told by my own grandmother, you know, people hold the purse, so you do what they say, be silent, don't put a lot of attention on yourself. And so just having been in a work environment that has allowed me to say, “Here's what I think, here's what I'm feeling. Here's why I'm feeling that way,” and having the other person be okay with that, and vice versa. And being able to educate each other.

I think that is that brave mentality that Jefferson has taken on and that our employees have embraced of talking to one another.

Related: Lisa Griffin of Jefferson Health Talks Seamless Access, Payment and Insurance (Pt. 2)

I'll leave you with this thing. My five-year-old granddaughter watched Sesame Street on racism. And she calls me every day she says, “I'm worried about you.” And I said "Yes."
She said, “I looked at that Sesame Street thing on race,” and I said. “Oh, you did. What do you think about that?” And she says, “The adults have the problem. My friend is white.” And I said, “You may have something there.” This is a five-year-old. So I take that every day and I keep it in my mind.”