Lift Every Voice
Eugenia South, MD, MSHP
Kristyn Smith, DO
Abike James, MD, MPH
Urban Health Lab
The Commonwealth Fund
Experiences of racism in health care settings are common. Even those who do not experience racism personally often witness acts of discrimination and bias. The negative consequences of this reality are far-reaching. Clinicians and other staff experience stunted career advancement and isolation, and patient care and outcomes suffer.
Formal human resources pathways to report racism are historically underutilized due to fear of retaliation, uncertainty that reporting incidences will lead to meaningful change, and a sense that many experiences are not significant enough to warrant escalation.
Lift Every Voice is a low-friction digital platform designed to amplify employee voices, spark conversation, and catalyze senior leadership teams to implement antiracist interventions and policies.
The platform, created in partnership with the Urban Health Lab at the Perelman School of Medicine, enables staff to report incidents of racism quickly and anonymously. Then, thanks to a partnership with local artists of color, submissions are illustrated and published on an internal platform where staff can review and engage with the content.
Submissions are also analyzed for content and theme on the back end and shared with department and executive leadership to create and implement action plans to address issues.
After a series of pilots at Penn Medicine, a comprehensive and frictionless version of the platform was launched in January 2023. The platform is currently live within the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology with Drs. Gina South, Kristyn Smith, and Abike James as physician leads.
At scale, we hope that this tool will enable organizations to systematically measure, analyze, and intervene on experiences of racism proactively.