Announcing the UMMS Cultural Competency Assessment

Subject: Message from Dr. Suntha and Dr. King: Cultural Competency Assessment

Dear Colleagues,

We write to you today in the first joint announcement from your Chief Executive Officer and Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer with an update on our progress toward making equity, diversity and inclusion the foundation of our UMMS culture.

In April, we hosted a series of Equity Exchanges that provided guided discussions for team members to share their feelings and learn from their peers about issues related to diversity and inclusion, both personally and professionally. While our partners analyze what we learned from these sessions, our work continues this month, when we will invite team members to participate in a Cultural Competency Organizational Assessment (COA360).

The COA360 is an online, anonymous questionnaire that will measure cultural competency across the System based on national standards established by the federal Office of Minority Health, Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS). The questionnaire will be managed by the Exeter Group, a healthcare equity-consulting firm with deep expertise in equity, diversity and inclusion.

Patients and community partners of UMMS member organizations will complete a similar survey. Together, the results will provide UMMS with a baseline for cultural competency.

Why now? We believe that having a strong culture of inclusion creates a fertile environment for staff to grow and succeed. The first step in building this culture is understanding where we are now. This work is critical to our future as a System that is more inclusive and equal for everyone. Your feedback is especially important to us to ensure that every voice and perspective at UMMS is included. We ask that you please consider taking a few moments to anonymously share your thoughts and experiences by participating in the COA360. You will receive an email with a link to the questionnaire on Monday, September 20.

For more information about the survey and the four strategic priorities of the System-wide commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, visit

Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
University of Maryland Medical System
The Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Professor of Radiation Oncology
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Roderick K. King, MD, MPH
Senior Vice President, Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer
University of Maryland Medical System