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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Doctoral candidate recognized for outstanding diversity initiatives

Deborah Washington, doctoral candidate at the Connell School and director of the Patient Care Services Diversity Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, recently received the inaugural Arnold Z. Rosoff "Agent of Change Award."



Deborah Washington, doctoral candidate at the Connell School and director of the Patient Care Services Diversity Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, recently received the inaugural Arnold Z. Rosoff "Agent of Change Award." Each year, The Ad Club of Boston sponsors the prestigious Rosoff Awards for the area business community. Established in 1996, the awards promote greater diversity in Boston advertising and business by recognizing outstanding diversity initiatives and the people behind them.
 
As her nomination states, "Deb Washington has embedded diversity into the cultural DNA of Massachusetts General Hospital, particularly within Patient Care Services, and has likewise helped to advance diversity efforts and initiatives within healthcare institutions and organizations throughout the country. She has encouraged the Mass General community to define diversity broadly, casting the widest possible net to include all who may otherwise feel marginalized."
 
Under Washington's leadership, the MGH Patient Care Services Diversity Program has played a vital role in making the hospital a more inclusive and welcoming environment for patients, families, visitors and staff. The program's many and far-reaching initiatives include the development of a culturally competent care curriculum, cultural rounds to educate staff about potentially sensitive cultural issues, community outreach programs, and educational and scholarship support for minority staff.
 
Washington has been director of Diversity for Patient Care Services at Mass General since 1995. In 2006, she was awarded a fellowship in the inaugural class of the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) Cultural Competence Leadership Fellowship Program. She was selected as a fellow in the 2007 Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program, and was named the 2007 National "Nurse of the Year" for Advancing and Leading the Profession by Nursing Spectrum magazine. Washington also serves on the Connell School's newly-formed Diversity Advisory Board.