Effective DEI takes leadership, and AHCA/NCAL recently created a Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP). This two-year program is designed to help advance the careers of long term care professionals and develop diverse, motivated leaders to fuel organizational success. DELP Scholars will participate in an accelerated leadership program of education, mentoring, networking, and volunteer services in the AHCA/NCAL community.

“Like many organizations, we are interested in increasing the diversity of member leadership, board membership, and leadership and participation in committees,” said Christy Herle, CAE, senior director of member relations at AHCA. “DELP will not only provide leadership development opportunities for individuals from underrepresented groups, but it also will help strengthen our volunteer leadership bench with a diverse pool of talented professionals,” she added.

The first class of 15 participants started the program in June 2022 with an orientation. In the first 12 months, they will participate in AHCA’s Future Leaders Program, then they will do the political ambassadors program. They also will attend the Annual Convention and the Congressional Briefing for both years. “It’s so important to provide them with opportunities to network with current leaders and learn about leadership opportunities in the association. They also will have a chance for professional networking and relationship building,” Herle said, adding, “Any time you provide training and support to staff at any level, that strengthens their skill set; and it shows them that you value them and are making an investment in their future.”

Herle stressed, “There is plenty of information supporting the fact that diversity is good for the bottom line and for organizations as a whole. It’s important to prioritize DEI and create opportunities to increase diversity, whether it’s in our leadership, staff, members, customers, vendors, or elsewhere.”

Go to https://www.ahcancal.org/About/Pages/Diversity-Executive-Leadership-Program.aspx for more information about the Diversity Executive Leadership Program.​