Swedish names inaugural Chief DEI Officer

April 12, 2021
Mardia Shands, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

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, M.D.

Shands will work as a dyad partner with Nwando Anyaoku, M.D., 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.