Patrice Morris | Redeemer Health
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Patrice Morris

Patrice Morris

Patrice Morris

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Dean of Redeemer U

How long have you worked at Redeemer Health, and what roles have you held?

With several years’ experience and education in social work and organizational development, I started at St. Joseph Manor in 2001 on a six-month temporary assignment to assist in retention efforts. My position was Employee Advisor and the role quickly expanded across the health system. In 2005, I became Mission Integration Director & Employee Advisor, leading system focus on principles of our mission and values through education programs, employee engagement, and resource support. In 2011, I became Dean of Experience U (now Redeemer U), overseeing the implementation of Experience manager and staff programs and other education programs with emphasis on the value of story, sharing varied perspectives and creating personalized, memorable Experiences to enrich our mission, brand reputation, outcomes, and our relationships with one another.

While maintaining the Dean of Redeemer U role, in June 2020 I became Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer (CDIO). In this position, I lead Redeemer Health’s organizational commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) which seeks to uphold a diverse, equitable and inclusive organizational culture, a respectful workplace environment, and partnerships to address healthcare disparities. Building awareness and understanding through training, self-reflection, leadership support, measurable goals and actions, workforce engagement, and courageous conversations are essential to the commitment to DEI.

Each of these roles at Redeemer Health have developed as building blocks- one upon the other. 

What are some key differences you have seen in Redeemer Health from when you first started until now?

When I started working at Redeemer Health in 2001, departments and locations seemed to operate as distinct, separate entities compared to today. Through the years since I see collaborative system thinking and focus with consideration of the distinctive services and contributions in each branch of the Redeemer Health continuum.

I also see evident strides to explore new ideas, share stories, establish partnerships, and build structures to meet needs of those we serve and the work environment.

What are some of your proudest achievements?

Although I worked in various types of organization settings in my career, I never worked in health care prior to Redeemer Health. Three of the four roles I have had at Redeemer Health started as ‘a blank page’. It has been an honor to help define these roles and watch outcomes evolve from trying something new, collaborating with others, embracing lessons learned, and caring for others.

I am also proud to have been a part of developing new roles and programs to benefit the Redeemer Health workforce. For instance, the Crisis Fund and the Compass program were developed to provide financial and other resources for employees during particularly difficult times of economic hardship.

It has also been meaningful to co-create learning environments with talented persons from varied backgrounds, life and work experiences and perspectives- all working together to institute positive change. Among my fondest examples is the Experience U faculty comprised of system leaders who facilitate Experience U and Redeemer U programs in addition to the vital roles in their departments.

What women have inspired you?

There are several who have inspired and motivated me.

My maternal grandmother has been a major influence. She lived to be 100 years old. She raised her 16 children and several grandchildren after the loss of my grandfather. She tended acres of farmland, maintained a loving, welcoming home and was active in her church. She had strong faith in God and was highly respected within the family and in the community. As children, my siblings and I spent summers with her and I watched her patience, strength and what I see now as steward leadership. Her caring spirit made a real impact on me.

I am also inspired by Harriet Tubman- her tenacity and courage even in the midst of struggles, resistance, and uncertainty.

In addition, through my 21 years at Redeemer Health I have been inspired by the legacy of the Sisters of the Redeemer- their stories of challenge and triumph, love of God and care for others. Their charism inspires others to rally together to meet needs- whether that be providing comfort to a patient’s family, supporting community, environment or worldwide efforts, preparing meals, offering hospitality, or showing compassion and faith through prayer.

What are some lessons or sayings that are important to you?

  • People may not remember everything you say or everything you do, but they will always remember how you make them feel. (Maya Angelou)
  • Be open to possibilities and new ways of thinking and doing.
  • People don't care how much you know unless they know how much you care.
  • Take good care of yourself and be patient with yourself.