Advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in behavioral healthcare

SummitStone is dedicated to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in behavioral healthcare

Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SummitStone (JEDIS): Values Statement: “SummitStone Health Partners prioritizes justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. We know that these values are essential for us to fulfill our mission of providing unsurpassed behavioral health services, including prevention, intervention and treatment. SummitStone is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, honoring each individual’s whole self by embracing differences in race, ethnicity, ability, age, gender, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, socioeconomic status, language, and the inherent intersections of many different identities.”

Over the last several years, SummitStone has been developing a focused effort to hone and improve our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. This is evidenced in the hiring of a new Chief Culture Officer, a DEI Director, a Talent Attraction & Outreach Specialist (focused on recruiting diverse staff), and the work of our JEDIS Committee.

Here are just a few of our recent key initiatives:

We believe that the work of diversity, equity and inclusion cannot live in theory and research. Here at SummitStone, we are committed to action. We have launched in-depth training for our clinicians who are working with transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse clients. This includes new clinical procedures and a series of courses on Gender Affirming Care. Our overall goal with this training is to remove barriers for transgender and non-binary people who are seeking care for hormone therapies and surgeries. We are one of only two Community Mental Health Centers to launch this level of care.

We provide A Safe Space for everyone and continue to hold group therapy sessions specifically for youth and for adults who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

We are expanding our presence in the community for various events focused on awareness and support of Larimer County’s diverse populations. This includes sponsoring, supporting and having a dedicated presence at the Fort Collins Juneteenth Celebration, Pride in the Park with the Estes Park community, and the upcoming NoCo Pride event at Civic Center Park in Fort Collins. We look forward to further developing our partnerships with many different stakeholder groups in the coming year.

SummitStone’s JEDIS committee consistently coordinates opportunities for our staff to learn about issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. This includes offering professional development opportunities, book clubs and movie nights. Most recently, SummitStone’s JEDIS committee coordinated a PRIDE bingo in June to celebrate PRIDE month. PRIDE bingo offered multiple opportunities for staff to engage in supporting and celebrating people within the LGBTQIA+ community.

SummitStone is committed to ensuring that all staff have a place where they belong. Recently, SummitStone has activated affinity groups. Affinity groups are a place where employees who have a shared identity that is statistically in the minority have a place where they can be in community with similar identities. Affinity groups contribute to a greater sense of belonging. SummitStone currently has a LatinX affinity group and is starting a PRIDE affinity group.

Additionally, we recently celebrated the educational and employment successes of more than 40 members of our Spirit Crossing Clubhouse, which is an amazing program that provides varying levels of support for those living with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI). It was amazing to hear them share stories of success fostered by the support of Spirit Crossing colleagues.

These are just a few highlights of the many initiatives we are undertaking to enhance our programming and reflect our compassion for all. We are committed to acting on these values by listening, training, continually learning, implementing change, and tracking our success. This is not just philosophy for us. Our overarching goal is to create a climate where everyone feels a sense of belonging. If you have questions, suggestions or comments on our efforts, please let me know at I’d love to hear from you!