Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

At Swedish, we recognize the need for systemic radical change

We believe everyone deserves equitable, high-quality health care – regardless of race, ethnicity, language spoken, disability, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion or age.

Through the Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OHEDI) we are working to ensure Swedish hospitals and clinics provide an inclusive environment for all patients, visitors and caregivers. This includes supporting Swedish care teams in completing trainings on cultural competence, LGBTQIA+ care and understanding implicit bias.

OHEDI’s work is fueled by our mission – to improve the health and wellbeing of each person we serve – and establishes Swedish policies and programs that:

  • Eliminate health care inequities
  • Provide equitable access to high-quality health care
  • Build a diverse workforce
  • Support community partners
  • Advance transgender health

View our DEI and Black Lives Matter commitment statements.

While the work outlined in these commitments is underway, success will not be instant and will be difficult at times. Together, Swedish caregivers and leaders will do our part to rectify centuries of health care injustices to fulfill our vision of health for a better world.

Leadership Team

Meet the OHEDI executives who are driving systemic radical change in health care.

Nwando Anyaoku, Chief Health Equity Officer
Chief Health Equity Officer

Nwando Anyaoku, MD, MPH, MBA

Learn More About Dr. Anyaoku
Dr. Nwando Anyaoku named Swedish’s first Chief Health Equity Officer

March 03, 2021

Swedish Health Services has named Nwando Anyaoku, M.D., MPH, MBA, as its inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer. In this new role, Dr. Anyaoku will direct the organization’s programs to measure equity in care delivery and outcomes, improve access for patients from all backgrounds, and promote culturally-competent care.

As a member of the executive leadership team, Dr. Anyaoku will report to Swedish CEO R. Guy Hudson, MD and work as a dyad partner with the new Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Officer that Swedish is currently recruiting.

Together, Dr. Anyaoku and the future Chief DEI Officer will co-lead Swedish’s newly created Office of Health Equity, Diversity & Inclusion that will drive initiatives to dismantle systemic racism, reduce barriers to health care access and improve health equity.

“Dr. Anyaoku’s leadership is critical to our efforts to make meaningful progress to address inequities in health care,” said Dr. Hudson. “Decades of experience in population health, primary pediatric care, physician leadership and program development make Dr. Anyaoku the ideal leader to implement Swedish’s commitment to equity.”

Dr. Anyaoku’s leadership at Swedish began when she joined the organization in 2016 as the Associate Medical Director of Pediatrics. She was promoted the following year to Executive Medical Director of Pediatrics. In 2020, she took on the position of Executive Medical Director of Medicaid Strategy for Population Health. She has served as the organization’s physician lead for health equity and community partnerships. Previously, she was System Medical Director of Pediatric Medicine at CHI Health in Omaha, Neb., and Division Chief of General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

Dr. Anyaoku serves on the board of Neighborcare Health, the largest provider of primary medical, dental and behavioral health care services in the Seattle area serving low-income and uninsured families and individuals, seniors on fixed incomes, immigrants and those experiencing homelessness through nearly 30 clinics located in neighborhoods where health disparities are the greatest. She also serves on the governing board of HealthierHere, which is the Accountable Community of Health for King County, Washington., and supports initiatives such as the Healthier Washington Medicaid Transformation Project.

Dr. Anyaoku earned a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Washington. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and Clinical Associate Professor at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University.

“Swedish is committed to doing the work that is needed to ensure we provide high-quality care and an inclusive, respectful health care experience for all of our patients, including those from historically underserved and under-resourced communities,” said Dr. Hudson. “Dr. Anyaoku brings the experience, expertise and vision that is needed to this new role to help us move forward with that intention. She has the full support and confidence of my leadership team and our organization.”

Mardia Shands, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
Chief Diversity, Equity and
Inclusion Officer

Mardia Shands, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Learn More About Mardia Shands
Swedish names inaugural Chief DEI Officer

April 12, 2021

Swedish Health Services is pleased to announce Mardia Shands, M.A., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, will serve as the organization’s inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. Starting today, Shands will develop and direct programs that increase workforce diversity, improve equity in hiring and employment practices and ensure an inclusive workplace for all Swedish caregivers and providers.

Shands brings a wealth of experience leading diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs. Most recently, she was the Chief Diversity Officer at TriHealth, a seven-hospital health care system in the Greater Cincinnati area.

“I am excited for Mardia to join our leadership team and help us move forward in our commitment to strengthen our understanding of DEI issues and make Swedish a welcoming and supportive workplace for everyone,” said Swedish CEO R. Guy Hudson, MD.

Shands will work as a dyad partner with Nwando Anyaoku, MD, who was recently named Swedish’s inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer. They will co-lead the newly created Office of Health Equity, Diversity & Inclusion that is driving initiatives to dismantle systemic racism, reduce barriers to health care access and improve health equity.

“I join Dr. Hudson and our entire leadership team in welcoming Mardia to Swedish,” said Dr. Anyaoku. “Mardia’s experience and expertise make her an ideal co-leader for our new Office of Health Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. I look forward to partnering with her in the important work of ending systemic racism and ensuring equity in health care and our community.”

Shands has extensive experience in human resources, talent management and workforce development across multiple industries. Prior to TriHealth, she led Partners for a Competitive Workforce, a partner of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati that provides training for high-growth career pathways and helps employers improve recruitment and retention. She also served in senior roles at Miami Valley Gaming and Racing in Lebanon, Ohio, a global biomass fuel production and export company in Liberia, Quest Diagnostics and Home Depot.

“I am excited to join Swedish and its leadership team, who have committed to taking bold steps to end the systemic racism that leads to the disparities we see too often in health care,” Shands said. “I especially look forward to strengthening and expanding our partnerships in the community that are vital to addressing the social determinants of health that have a profound impact on the health outcomes of our residents.”

Shands holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in labor and employee relations, both from the University of Cincinnati. She has served on the board of the YWCA of Dayton, Ohio, and chaired the Workforce Investment Board of Butler, Warren and Clermont counties in Ohio.