Employee Affinity Groups help create diverse, inclusive work environment

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Written by Lisa Kaylor

Employee Affinity Groups support diversity and inclusion at AU Health by providing a safe space for employees to share interests, concerns and identities.

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has created opportunities for formation of Employee Affinity Groups (EAGs) to ensure an inclusive and welcoming environment for employees.

These groups provide a safe space for people to express their interests, concerns and identities. Currently there are three affinity groups: Proud Parents – Parents of LGBTQ Children/Dependents, Women of Color in Leadership and Men of Color in Health Care.

Employees who join EAGs can help advance inclusivity throughout the health system, foster community through openness and understanding, educate the broader organization on a group’s perspectives and concerns, advocate for policies and programs to meet the needs of the group’s members and promote the professional and personal development for group members.

New affinity groups must be voluntarily formed and registered through the subcommittee. Registration provides recognition of the group by AU Health. It also permits the EAG to meet in AU Health meeting spaces during work hours as long as it does not interfere with work performance or patient care. EAGs are allowed to use AU Health branding according to policy, request funds for approved affinity group sponsored events, receive support and advocacy from high-level administration, and engage members system-wide for a robust membership panel.

To join one of the established affinity groups, contact:

  • Proud Parents: Kerrie Harmon, Nurse Manager, 5N Oncology,, 706-721-1317
  • Women of Color in Leadership: Kimberly Thompson, MD; Assistant Professor, Family Medicine;, 706-721-0312
  • Men of Color in Health Care: Jared Bing, manager, Call Center/Centralized Scheduling;, 706-721-9273

Policies on forming and managing Employee Affinity Groups are available at

For more information or to register a new affinity group, email the AU Health Employee Affinity Group Subcommittee, visit the Intranet page or the EAG website.

About the author

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Lisa Kaylor

Lisa Kaylor is the Lead Communications and Media Coordinator for AU Health. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-5292 or