Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Care New England

Our Statement of Diversity

Care New England believes in treating all employees and applicants of diverse backgrounds with dignity and respect, which is one of CNE’s core values. Diversity refers to all differences between people. This includes, but is not limited to: gender, race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religious beliefs or spirituality, national origin, ethnicity, physical ability, cognitive ability, medical condition or reproductive and behavioral health.
We further believe in treating such individuals with dignity and respect regardless of their geographic or socioeconomic background, political affiliation, culture, title and practice area, communication and learning style, or any other real or perceived differences.

Our Why

We have established an environment that puts diversity, equity and inclusion at the center of our work, and informs how we both approach and treat all our patients and families. From regular review of best practices and models of care, to leveraging consistent feedback and input from our patients and staff, Care New England prioritizes the highest quality of care and with the utmost level of dignity and respect for all of our patients—regardless of who they are, or where they live.

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See our DEI Signature Presentation.



Our Movement

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council’s have been established at each one of our operating units with the goal of creating safe spaces for employees to exchange ideas and address concerns to improve both employee and patient outcomes centered around diversity, equity, and inclusionary practices. These councils work to establish a framework of activity for their participants that center around addressing equitable solutions that reach across a broad spectrum of activities in order to make an impact.

Each council relies on it’s members participation of thoughtful dialogue and meaningful takeaways to create long lasting change for next and best practices within the organization and the communities we serve, implemented through regular meetings, continuous conversations, and meaningful interactions with leadership in order to create change.


DEI Councils



Council Members

Areas of Focus

Care New England has 8 DEI Councils - each with 4 areas of focus.


Education, Training,
& Research

Identification of possible training and professional development opportunities for staff.

Community Partnerships

Identification of opportunities for events and collaborations with community-based organizations (CBOs), businesses, educational institutions, and other OUs across CNE.

Policies & Procedures

Regular review, identification, and implementation of hospital policies and procedures with an intentional focus on eliminating systemic barriers to provide fair and equitable care and experiences for all patients.

Meeting Spot

Meeting spot to share ideas, to grapple with current events, and also plan events and occasions (both internal and in the public).

Our Community in Action

One For Me, Love For You - Clothing Drive

School has started and many students in our community don’t have the clothing they need to feel confident and ready to learn. Research shows that many children that go to school without adequate clothing and shoes experience low self-esteem, poor social skills, and lack of concentration in school. Care New England is partnering with Clothes to Kids RI (a 501c3 non-profit) to collect gently used clothing for Providence county K-12 students in need.

Our Community in Action

929 Mindful Moments

George Floyd’s life was taken senselessly, but his tragic murder has helped the world, the United States, and our community at Care New England raise our awareness and consciousness about the insidiousness of racism and the depth and trauma that it inflicts on black and brown people every day.
Our Community in Action

Unconscious Bias Training

Unconscious bias trainings have been implemented across Care New England and are available to all staff. These trainings help us understand and recognize the ways in which unconscious bias manifests itself in the workplace and beyond. These trainings are eligible for continuing education credits.

Our Community in Action

DEI Summit

Our first DEI Summit highlighted the diversity initiatives across Care New England & within the community. We have worked hard to establish an environment that puts diversity, equity, and inclusion at the center of our work. We prioritize the highest quality of care and with the utmost level of dignity and respect for all of our patients—regardless of who they are, or where they live.
Our Community in Action

International Women's Day

Care New England celebrated International Women's Day by bringing our four women presidents to the forefront. We heard from each of them as they discussed leadership, gender bias at work, mentorship, and work-life balance. As an organization we made the pledge to #ChooseToChallenge inequality, stereotypes, and gender biases!

Meet our Chief Diversity Officer


Dionne Wright Poulton, Ph.D.

Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer

As healthcare providers, not only is Care New England staff trained to address symptoms exhibited by patients who come in with “dis-ease,” but they are also charged with determining the underlying conditions and problems that have caused the dis-ease in the first place and hopefully cure them. Racism is an underlying condition that has led to the dis-ease of black and brown people, and why Care New England hired a Chief Diversity Officer, Dionne Poulton, who is charged with addressing such issues internally at Care New England.

Care New England is committed to social justice and is taking an active role in addressing issues of race and racism head on. We live in an ever changing and challenging world, and I feel privileged to work closely with leadership and all staff at Care New England to promote anti-racism and address any issues of racial disparities and other concerns in the provision of care to our patients. As Chief Diversity Officer and a formally trained educator, an integral piece of this work is the facilitation of open, honest and sustained discussions, including with our CEO Dr. Jim Fanale, as the message of equality is expected and reinforced at all levels. Thus, teaching, learning and ongoing employee engagement helps ensure a peaceful and harmonious workplace environment for all. Diversity is always in the room!