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Detroit SHRM HR Learn: "Diversity & Inclusion: Scaling Strategy to Make Tangible Progress"
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Businesses of all types are learning the importance of developing a diversity and inclusion strategy.

When: Wednesday, September 11, 2019
5:00pm - 8:00pm
Where: Shriner's Silver Garden Event Center
24350 Southfield Rd.
Southfield, Michigan  48076
United States
Presenter: Cassandra Willis-Abner and Shana Welch - Trinity Health
Contact: Detroit SHRM
(248) 478-6498

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"Diversity & Inclusion: Scaling Strategy to Make Tangible Progress"

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Businesses of all types are learning the importance of developing a diversity and inclusion strategy to maximize recruiting efforts, improve team productivity, reduce voluntary turnover, respond to client and community needs and interests and increase market share.  However, often organization “strategies” are not really strategic and may stop at providing a single employee workshop or recognizing cultural holidays.

Trinity Health is focusing on diversity and inclusion as critical to the entire care delivery system.  Their experiences and successes across 22 states, 93 hospitals and many other healthcare related sites--large and small, will provide participants with actionable approaches for human resources professionals and other leaders--across industries and organization size.  


Participants in this HR Learn event will be able to:

  • Differentiate a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategic plan from a plan with only few action steps and without measurable outcomes;  
  • Identify “best practice” strategies for advancing diverse hiring and advancing equity through workforce development;  
  • Discuss challenges within their organizations regarding diversity & inclusion planning and strategy implementation; and 
  • Recognize human resources professionals’ role in working with others in the organization to identify diversity and inclusion measures and to achieve results.


5:00 – 5:30 PM                       Networking & Registration

5:30 – 6:30 PM                       Dinner & Announcements

6:30 – 8:00 PM                       Presentation


HRCI - Submitted for 1.5 General Credits 

SHRM - Pre-approved for 1.5 Credits




Detroit SHRM Professional Members - $50.00
Detroit SHRM Student Members - $35.00

Non-Members - $75.00


REGISTRATION FEES (after September 5):
Detroit SHRM Professional Members - $60.00
Detroit SHRM Student Members - $45.00

Non-Members - $85.00



Cancellations must be received in writing to by September 5, 2019. Refunds cannot be issued for cancellations received after this date; however, substitutions for another person to attend in your place are gladly accepted (please note that members substituting a non-member may result in a higher registration fee).


Consent to Use Photographic Images: Registration and attendance at, or participation in, Detroit SHRM meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to the use and distribution of the registrant's or attendee's image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions and audiotapes of such events and activities by Detroit SHRM and Meeting Coordinators, Inc.



Cassandra Willis-Abner is Senior Vice-President of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Experience Officer for Trinity Health.

In this role, Willis-Abner develops and executes the system-wide diversity and inclusion and patient experience strategy across the ministry's 94 hospitals and 109 continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 22 states, in support of Trinity Health’s mission to be a compassionate and transforming healing presence within the communities it serves.

Willis-Abner joined Trinity Health in 2017 as Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion and immediately collaborated with internal partners to design a multi-focused strategic plan, leading the design, development and implementation of the system's D&I strategic model, as well as its system-wide D&I-related plans, culture programs and services. Under her leadership Trinity Health hired diversity and inclusion leaders across the ministry tasked with integrating the activities of existing processes, which has resulted in a more diverse and inclusive organization for patients, residents, families and colleagues.

In August 2019, she was promoted Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Experience Officer and now serves on Trinity Health’s Executive Leadership Team. In her new role, Willis-Abner's oversight of diversity initiatives will continue while she expands into clinical and operational areas, working to create and deliver an integrated, differentiating, inclusive and desirable care experience and work environment.

Prior to joining Trinity Health, Willis-Abner spent almost 20 years working for the University of Michigan Health System, now known as Michigan Medicine, serving as associate director, operations and service excellence and in roles where she directed activities ranging from managed care operations to customer service excellence. Earlier in her career, she served as director of operations at Omni Care Health Plan and as administrative director of Ambulatory Care Practices. Willis-Abner holds a master's degree in Health Services Management and Policy and a bachelor's degree in Organizational Behavior Studies/Development, both from the University of Michigan. Additionally, she serves on the board of the Wellness Plan Health Centers.

Willis-Abner has been recognized as a Top Leader for Diversity and Inclusion by the National Healthcare Diversity Council as well as been named as one of the Most Influential Women in Corporate America by Savoy magazine.


Shana Welch, SHRM-SCP has more than twenty years of successful Talent Acquisition experience.  In her current role she serves as Executive Director of Talent Acquisition and Workforce Programs for the Trinity Health – Michigan region. Trinity Health is the 2nd largest Catholic Health System nationally. 

Ms. Welch has implemented several innovative recruitment and talent strategies including; workforce development programs, a regional sourcing model and hiring practices that have significantly improved and strengthened the hiring process, including the Evidence-Based Selection Process.  The Evidence Base Selection Process and workforce development have significantly increased diversity of Mercy Health's workforce. These strategies have been nationally published. 

Ms. Welch has frequently been invited to speak at national conferences, including an invitation by the Obama White House to participate in the Employer Healthcare Workforce Roundtable and she is co-leading Michigan's participation in Health Career Pathways Network.  Ms. Welch is passionate about removing barriers and creating greater access to middle wage paying jobs. She was instrumental in introducing apprenticeship programs to the Healthcare Sector, including the registered Medical Assistant Apprenticeship program, which is the first of its kind in the nation, and for which has received local and national recognition.

Throughout her career she has served in multiple leadership roles throughout the community and at the state level.  Most recently she was elected as a Trustee for Michigan's workforce board, as well as on the Executive Committee and workforce board for West Michigan. Shana was named as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan in 2016 and accepted the 2017 Pillar Award on behalf of Mercy Health for her work in the advancement of minorities and woman in underserved populations and most recently was recognized by Crain's with the HR Excellence award.