HCA Houston Healthcare and Shannon Evans, division executive chair of diversity, equity and inclusion, are named as 2021 Diversity in Business Awards honorees.

HCA Houston Healthcare is proud to announce that it has been named a 2021 Houston Business Journal (HBJ) Outstanding Diverse Organization, and that Shannon Evans, division executive chair of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), has been named an Outstanding Diversity Champion.

Each year, through its Diversity in Business Awards, HBJ honors organizations and individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to promoting practices that advance DEI in the workplace, as well as business leadership.

“Since 2019, HCA Houston Healthcare has intentionally renewed and expanded our focus on DEI through a comprehensive approach focused on six key areas: patients, colleagues, suppliers, boards, community partnerships and sustainability,” said Evan Ray, executive vice president and chief administrative officer and executive sponsor of the diversity, equity and inclusion colleague networks at HCA Houston Healthcare. “Our goals include advancing health equity and access to services for all patients, providing an inclusive culture where colleagues can thrive, promoting the inclusion of diverse businesses within our supplier base, ensuring our boards of trustees reflect the diversity of the communities we serve and building healthier communities through strategic partnerships and environmental stewardship.”

In 2020, HCA Houston Healthcare relaunched its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council; launched five employee-led colleague networks geared toward women, Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latinx, young professionals and veterans, and hosted conscious inclusion training for numerous senior leaders. It also collaborated with underserved communities of color for mentoring programs, sponsored the Center for Houston’s Future Healthcare Report and invested over $10 million dollars in minority and women owned businesses, in addition to several other initiatives.

All of these renewed efforts have been led by Shannon Evans, who is responsible for the development and implementation of HCA Houston Healthcare’s DEI health equity, supplier diversity, board representation, and community engagement programs. Her work in coordinating the restructuring and relaunch of the five HCA Houston Healthcare colleague networks, which serve to strengthen the organization’s DEI culture by facilitating connection, collaboration, and community engagement among colleagues, yielded incredible results. In one year, Evans’s strategic outreach efforts led to an overall 333% increase of colleague network membership.

“In less than two years, Shannon has sparked an amazing transformation of our DEI efforts, bringing rigorous approaches to enhance our initiatives,” said Ray. “She has taken our colleague networks to new heights and we can feel the excitement about these programs throughout the organization. I am extremely pleased that the Houston Business Journal has recognized Shannon and HCA Houston Healthcare for the important and deliberate work we are doing to promote DEI.”

Evans joined HCA Houston Healthcare in 2016 and took over the DEI role in 2019. She also serves as the HCA Houston Healthcare director of delivery system reform incentive payment (DSRIP). In this role, she is responsible for the administration and operations of DSRIP programs that focus on improvement of healthcare quality outcomes for patients who have Medicaid or are low-income across multiple facilities.

Evans holds an MBA with a healthcare administration focus from Baylor University and a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. She became a certified diversity professional, CDP by the National Diversity Council in January 2021, further committing herself to her DEI role. She is an active member and supporter of numerous diversity-based and professional associations including the Texas Diversity Council, Texas Medical Diversity Council, National Association of Health Service Executives, National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives, Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

HBJ’s 2021 Diversity in Business Awards recipients will be featured in a special publication and recognized during a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, March 25. Learn more about the award and view all honorees.