Celebrating Diversity at Supplemental Health Care

Supplemental Health Care’s VP of EPMO and Diversity, Adrienne Nakamura, recently shared a message about her personal and professional involvement in supporting the AAPI community and other groups. She has spearheaded the creation of the Enterprise Project Management Office and the Center of Excellence for Project Management, bringing expertise to SHC’s inclusion and diversity efforts. 

Image: Adrienne Nakamura headshot

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month, and I am proud to be part of the efforts at Supplemental Health Care (SHC) to recognize the importance of celebrating diverse stories and voices. We see the significant value that comes from championing diversity among our own employees and in the wider healthcare industry. 

Today, I want to share my own experiences that have shaped both my family’s story and my career path in healthcare. Since joining Supplemental Health Care, I’ve had the opportunity to build the Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) and Center of Excellence for Project Management. This focus on execution excellence and the power of our Culture of Caring immeasurably impacts both SHC and the staffing industry at large. I feel honored that my position allows me to help give voice to diverse expertise and experiences. 

AAPI Heritage: Adrienne’s Story 

I have always been personally tied to celebrating diversity and raising awareness about the contributions and struggles of people in AAPI communities. I often get so busy that it becomes hard to stop and appreciate the work and adversity that so many have had to overcome.  

These recognition months and holidays throughout the year give an invaluable opportunity for individuals to come together and share their challenges and triumphs. Taking the time to listen to others’ stories and reflect on their voices will always remind us that our differences can actually bring us closer together. 

My Family’s Story 

In light of AAPI Heritage Month, I recently had the opportunity to reflect on my family’s journey over the years and I wanted to share their story to educate others about some of our shared struggles and history. 

In 1942 Executive Order 9066 was signed and over 125,000 people were arrested and sent to Japanese concentration camps.  Their homes, businesses, properties, and personal possessions were left behind and families scrambled to take what they could carry in a trunk. My grandparents were newly married, and were shipped to  Heart Mountain in Cody, ID, where my aunt was then born in the medical building that my grandmother described as “a barn”: a distinct image that has stuck with me throughout my career of working to bring quality care to others. 

After having everything taken, my family relocated to the Salt Lake City, UT area. That same aunt graduated from the University of Utah and was accepted to nursing school in the early 1970s, despite significant adversity and very few women (and very few Asian-Americans) being enrolled in the nursing program at that time. She then went on to lead an amazing career and ended up retiring as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMH-APRN). Her example means the world to me.  It’s a continuous reminder to me that I have had the privilege of having a generation before me lead the way, and to try and pave the way forward for others.  

Months like AAPI Heritage Month are a time when I take a moment to look at all the contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made in our country. I try to stop often and take a moment to really reflect, reset myself, and be thankful for everyone who came before me. 

How I Recognize AAPI Heritage Month 

There are countless ways to recognize AAPI Heritage Month, but everything starts with awareness, education, and intentional effort. I work to bring those elements to both my career and personal life. 

At SHC, I have the opportunity to work with our employee resource groups (ERGs) to help celebrate our unique diversity and amplify the events that recognize contributions and communities from voices that so often go unheard. I have greatly enjoyed supporting our recent AAPI ERG led events that help the staff at SHC learn more about AAPI culture and give back to our communities through volunteering

In addition to these company events, I have a few traditions that help me feel personally connected to recognizing AAPI Heritage Month. I especially love supporting the AAPI community through reading an AAPI author or attending local AAPI art exhibits and events.  

Some of my favorite books to recommend include Crying in H Mart and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. I would also highly encourage searching Arts & Culture’s suggested 12 Ways to Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. I appreciate their background stories of AAPI immigrants who broke barriers with lasting effects and their suggestions of different artists and exhibits that help capture parts of the AAPI experience. 

In April, we also recognized Celebrate Diversity Month. I’m grateful to be part of an organization that understands the value of promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) for our internal employees and working professionals. Better representation in healthcare and education plays a key role in better understanding and caring for patients, students, and our communities.  

There are so many studies that show how and why diversity in our workforce is important. This helps ensure that no matter who walks through the door, they will be able to connect with caring, qualified professionals who can identify with them, communicate with them, and better serve their unique needs. Seeing the whole patient (their background, experiences, needs, traditions, and more) is imperative to provide them with the quality care they need and deserve. 

How SHC Supports Our DEI&B Initiatives 

Many ethnically diverse groups still face discrimination as patients and providers. At SHC, we are committed to improving diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging by taking intentional steps forward. We have long understood the importance of inclusion and representation, and our leadership continues to support those efforts.  

At SHC, we are proud that our employees and working professionals are diverse. We have focused on building an internal diversity council to better hear voices from unique perspectives and experiences. Our employee resource groups are another way we foster conversation, recognition, and community. 

Supplemental Health Care is a leading healthcare and school staffing provider that connects caring healthcare and school professionals with opportunities to better serve patients and students. Our team is excited to continue our mission to celebrate, value, and promote diversity and we invite you to learn more about working where caring hearts thrive.

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