Published on January 03, 2022

Essentia Health sponsoring leadership development on diversity, equity and inclusion

Striving to promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) both within our organization, as well as the communities we’re privileged to serve, Essentia Health is honored to collaborate with Mahube-OTWA Community Action Partnership and Organization 4 Full Participation on a year-long leadership opportunity.

Led by Victoria McWane-Creek of Organization 4 Full Participation, the one-year series is titled “Building equity: A community of practice” and will address racial disparities. Its goal is to create lasting change by equipping leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve racial health equity in their workplaces and communities. Anyone interested in fostering this kind of transformational change can participate in the monthly workshops. Each two-hour workshop will be held virtually.

A kickoff meeting will be held the end of January. McWane-Creek and her team then will focus on situation assessment, identifying specific gaps and using that information to develop benchmarks for success and outline measurable targets. That will give way to designing a customized solution and implementation plan, with regular monthly sessions starting in April.

Throughout the year, participants will understand, identify the importance of, and invest in developing racial health equity. “Building equity” is based on the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).

“Over the past six months, we have facilitated the IDI and Intercultural Development Planning with more than 60 of our senior leaders,” said Mary Engels, senior director of organizational learning and development and Essentia’s DE&I lead. “It’s so important when starting the DE&I journey in an organization to begin with creating a strong foundation of self-awareness and self-discovery — that is the beauty of the IDI. Expanding these conversations to include our collaborative partners aligns with this best practice.”

McWane-Creek, the founder of Organization 4 Full Participation, is a 2020 Minnesota Women’s Press Changemaker and performance-improvement specialist, as well as a 2021 Facing Race Awards honoree. She holds a master’s degree in instructional design and performance improvement from the University of North Dakota, and has been designing, hosting and facilitating “conversations that matter” for 15 years. McWane-Creek has worked closely with organizations throughout the region.

The deadline to register for “Building equity: A community of practice” is Jan. 7, 2022.

For more information, please contact Chandler Esslinger, community health specialist at Essentia Health, at (605) 254-8893 or by email at

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