United Hospital Fund is committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). They are central to our mission to build an effective and equitable health care system for every New Yorker. At UHF, we believe in an environment where staff feel valued and respected. And we are devoted to promoting brave safe spaces that center on empathy, growth, collaboration, and communication. Different backgrounds and points of view make for a more successful organization, and we aspire to reflect and include the diversity of the communities we serve.

Since 2019, we have stepped up our DEI efforts by committing to a DEI initiative, working with both external consultants and dedicated internal staff to examine and adjust our practices in three principal areas:

•    Responsibility, accountability, and transparency
•    Inclusion and collaboration
•    Employees feeling valued and respected

We thank TIAA and Co-Creating Inclusion for their partnership in helping make our DEI program successful.

DEI Workgroups

We are aided in this work by a DEI project team, by the active participation of senior management, and by five DEI workgroups focused on several aspects of UHF’s culture, practices, and partnerships:

Board DEI
Goals: Improving the quality of engagement between board and staff; raising awareness of and commitment to DEI with the full board. Team: Adam Fifield (facilitator), Amanda Williams, Anthony Shih, Gabriela Groenke, Kanchi Duggirala, Quincy McLain, Rosalie Chandler, Vaughn Murria. Board members: Dale C. Christensen, Jr., Jo Ivey Boufford, John Simons, Oxiris Barbot, Robert C. Osborne Sr. (honorary director), Seun Salami, Susana Morales.

Diversity and Inclusion Strategies
Goals: Examining power dynamics, improving opportunities for professional development, and flattening hierarchies within the organization. Team: Catherine Arnst, Emily Arsen, Gabriela Groenke (facilitator), Kanchi Duggirala, Peter Newell, Sally Rogers.

Equitable and Consistent Standards
Goals: Helping ensure equitable and consistent standards across the organization for staff, so that everyone gets what they need. Team: Alexandra Brandes, Alice Ehrlich, Amanda Williams, Emily Regas (facilitator), Hollis Holmes, Kanchi Duggirala, Kevin Mallon, Sharen Whitley Privetté, Sherrard Zamore.

External Engagement
Goals: Reimagining how we partner with collaborators, audiences, and community partners to ensure representation and mission alignment; building an equity-informed framework for UHF’s public activity. Team: Denise Arzola, Frank Dunn, Giovanna Braganza, Joan Guzik, Kanchi Duggirala, Lee Partridge, Miles P. Finley (co-facilitator), Susan Olivera (co-facilitator), Vaughn Murria, Wil Yates.

Restorative Justice
Goals: Building a restorative justice process at UHF; creating tools and resources to help the UHF community to work through and resolve harm and prevent future harm. Team: Anne-Marie Audet, Chad Shearer, Hillary Browne, Jatna Rojas (facilitator), Joey Rodriguez, Kanchi Duggirala, Mary Johnson, Vaughn Murria.

Workgroup members are active voluntary participants from UHF staff. The workgroups advise and work with the DEI project team, brainstorm recommendations to challenges raised in employee feedback surveys and DEI reports, and help move the DEI initiative forward with specific actions and general advice. They also promote inclusion and further break down silos.

Five Guiding Principles of our DEI Workgroups

 
DEI Project Team
Amanda A. Williams

In her role as Special Assistant to the President, Amanda is involved in the administrative functions of the Office of the President, including internal/external communications; calendars, meetings, department budgets, relationship building; and additional special projects.  

As Corporate Secretary, Amanda is a confidential bridge/liaison for information and communication between UHF’s 22 Board members, management, and staff; ensures compliance with governance procedures and regulations; coordinates and prepares for board/committee meetings in conjunction with the Board Chair and Tony through materials prep and timely distribution; maintains key corporate records, ensuring bylaw, conflict of interest, and general procedure compliance.  

Before joining UHF in 2005, Amanda served as Office Manager, Marketing, Communications and Public Relations at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. She has also worked as a graphic designer.

She is a former Board member of the Future Leaders Institute Charter School Board of Trustees.


Jatna runs the daily functions of UHF's Human Resources department, including hiring and interviewing staff, administering benefits and leave, employee relations, performance, and implementing company policies and practices. She also helps create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture through facilitating discussions and evaluating the organization, its policies and process.

Before joining UHF in 2017 Jatna was a human resources assistant at the New York Botanical Garden. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baruch College.
 

Kanchi Duggirala, MHRM

Kanchi, who joined UHF in 2021, coordinates the flow of information between DEI workgroups and staff, responds to human resources-related questions and issues within UHF, sources and recruits potential job candidates, and maintains human resources and DEI communication resources

Before UHF Kanchi was Human Resources ambassador at Ben & Jerry’s. She was also a graduate dean’s worker at Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, a teaching aide at Rutgers, and worked in social media and marketing at Tula Skincare. 

Kanchi holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Human Resource Management, both from Rutgers University. 

Vaughn Murria, SHRM-SCP

Vaughn, who was named Vice-President in 2021, oversees UHF's human resource department and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of UHF, specifically in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, talent management, organizational and performance management, change management, employee engagement, workforce well-being, coaching, training and development, benefits and compensation, and Human Resources Management Systems. The title of Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer was added to his Human Resources Director title in 2020 after he created and launched UHF’s DEI program in the spring of 2019. 

 

Before joining UHF in 2013, Vaughn served as the Director of Human Resources and Operations at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, and as Organizational Development Manager and a Human Resources Project Manager at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.

 

Vaughn earned a Master of Public Administration degree, with a customized specialization in Human Resources Management, from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Binghamton University. He also holds a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University, a Human Resources Studies Certificate from Cornell University Industrial and Labor Relations School, a Human Capital Strategist Certificate from the Human Capital Institute, and a Senior Certified Professional certificate from the Society of Human Resource Management.

 

He is member of the TIAA Healthcare Council, a diverse group of senior leaders working in partnership with TIAA executives to discuss the unique needs and challenges faced by institutions in a rapidly changing industry, as well as a New York City and National member of The Society for Human Resource Management and The Organizational Development Network. In 2022 The Council on Foundations chose Vaughn for its Career Pathways leadership development program, designed to diversify the talent pipeline for executive-level roles in philanthropy.