Dr. Barbara J. Terry recently retired as Vice President, Mission Effectiveness and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Pinnacle Health System, Harrisburg PA.
Formerly, Dr. Terry was President and Chief Executive Officer of The Institute for Healthy Communities, affiliate organization of the Hospital and Health System Association of PA, serving as the catalyst for creating, linking, and supporting over 100 community-based partnerships and nearly 200 health systems working to improve population health and quality of life in communities across Pennsylvania.
As Chief Diversity Officer, she was responsible to create an environment for patients, visitors, employees and caregivers where the uniqueness of all races, ethnicities, colors, religions, beliefs, abilities, appearances, genders, and sexual orientation are understood, respected and welcomed. She implemented a diversity and inclusion vision and mission for Pinnacle Health System ensuring compliance with national Cultural and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards and JCAHO requirements.
Dr. Terry led Pinnacle Health’s efforts in adopting culturally and linguistically appropriate health care practices throughout the system, continually enhancing sensitivity and responsiveness to the clinical and cultural interests, needs and expectations of patients, the development of creative solutions to identified community health priorities and challenges and expanded the diversity and inclusion of the workforce.
Dr. Terry embarked upon a relentless pursuit to advance diversity and inclusion across the community and regionally through a plethora of initiatives aimed at making cultural competence a strategic priority and ensuring the delivery of culturally competent patient care. She effectively engaged diverse, vulnerable communities and over 200 community organizations to measurably improve population health through an integrated care delivery approach with electronic reporting and patient tracking mechanisms to share information among health centers, identify super-utilizers, address barriers to access and ensure safe, quality care. Success measures included decreased 30 day hospital readmissions, decreased non-urgent emergency room visits and overall cost/case and improved prevention education and early intervention among community health centers, senior living facilities and the faith community.
Dr. Terry served in progressive roles as Chief Nursing Officer and Assistant Executive Director, Patient Services, responsible for the nursing and clinical/ancillary services at Frick Hospital (Excela Health) and as Vice President, Improvement Services at VHA. She received her BSN from Pennsylvania State University, her MS degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Health Services Management, a Masters and Doctorate Degree from Andersonville Theological Institute.
Dr. Terry has received numerous awards to include the Dr. Claude E Nichols Medical Award, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC Business Diversity Champion Award, the United Way of the Capital Region Spirit of the Community Award and the Martin Luther King “Keeper of the Dream” Award.