At Quest Diagnostics, our vision is “Empowering better health with diagnostic insights.” Our goal is to make this a healthier world – not just for some, but for all. As we near the two-year anniversary of the pandemic, I thought now would a good time to share the progress we’ve made to be a more inclusive, diverse, and socially responsible company. I am especially proud of the tangible efforts we made in 2021 to begin to reduce healthcare disparities and structural inequities in underserved communities.
It is fitting that we take stock of our accomplishments during February, Black History Month, which focuses this year on health and wellness. This is the time to celebrate the many contributions of Black innovators, healthcare pioneers, politicians, scientists, artists, activists, and civil rights leaders.
At Quest, we have a culture that values inclusion and diversity and reflects the makeup of our workforce. Of our 50,000 colleagues, 56% are people of color and 72% are female.
We have made significant strides to strengthen the role of inclusion and diversity within the company.
- We have strengthened the diversity of our Board of Directors. Of our ten board members, half are women and two are people of color.
- We created the Quest Inclusion and Diversity Council, comprised of 18 leaders across the company who make sure that we create initiatives that continue to build an inclusive culture and diverse workforce and how important this is to our business goals.
- We deployed new inclusion and diversity training at all levels of the company including me and my team.
- And, we added a seventh paid holiday to our annual calendar, Diversity Day, empowering each employee to select a paid day off that’s meaningful to them.
After the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, we inaugurated a series of powerful – and sometimes difficult -- conversations on racial justice to make sure everyone – especially Black colleagues and other people of color – was well aware that Quest does not tolerate hate or racism in any form.
- I sent multiple letters and messages to all employees, as did others on our leadership team. And we held town hall sessions via Zoom on a range of racial issues. Equally important, we have spoken out against violence in the Asian Community.
- We supported agencies and advocacy groups that champion racial justice. For example, we donated $50,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in honor of Juneteenth.
- Quest has doubled down on supporting our Employee Business Networks (EBNs) including adding the Pan-Asian and Caregivers EBNs. The 10 EBNs are open to all employees looking for opportunities for education, advocacy, leadership development, and community involvement. Together they paint a picture of diversity at Quest. Please consider getting involved in an EBN if you aren’t already.
When COVID-19 hit, we saw firsthand the disproportionate and devastating impact the pandemic was having on underserved communities. We wanted to do something meaningful to help. So, in late 2020 we established Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE), with a commitment of more than $100 million in financial and testing resources. Last year we funded 18 partnerships investing nearly $20 million. Two examples are:
- We partnered with the American Heart Association to sponsor scholarships for the next generation of Black and Latino health care professionals and funded diabetes education programs through Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) serving disadvantaged communities.
- We have done great work with Choose Healthy Life to provide access to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, and are developing exciting plans to improve wellness and health outcomes in underserved communities.
As we’ve said in the past, we will be judged by our actions, not our words. We’ve done so much, and today Quest is more inclusive, diverse, and responsive to community needs than it has ever been. But of course, there’s so much more work to be done.
Quest is a quality company with a big heart at the center of our culture. We should all be very proud of our progress.
Thank you for all you do every day to support patients and customers.