Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion Statement
To improve health and well-being, we must embrace, support, and engage in ongoing efforts in Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in everything we do. As such, the Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB) values and respects the diverse and unique attributes of all Board Certified Advocates and the communities we serve. The PACB Board of Directors and our organization’s senior Leadership recognize these ideals must be reflected in our organization in both principle and practice. To that end, we affirm our ongoing commitment to upholding the spirit of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within the Patient and Health Care Advocacy professions as laid forth below. Our collective works are intended to be trauma-informed, intersectional, and inclusive of the multiple dimensions of diversity, not limited to race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic circumstance, national origin, geographic background, ability, and disability, physical characteristics, veteran status, political ideology, religious belief and/or age. We believe this Statement supports our mission and core values to promote, advance, and advocate for client/patient protections, quality case and/or disability management practices, ethical standards and behavior, and knowledge development and dissemination. We commit to helping to build a more diverse and equitable future in the Advocacy profession and using our position of privilege and power to drive change from the top down.
The Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA) credential was developed by the PACB with the mission to promote excellence in Patient and Health Care Advocacy through credentialing and standard setting. The BCPA designation is earned only by those who have fulfilled eligibility requirements, have studied and passed the official certification exam to determine their abilities and fitness for serving clients/patients, their families, and care team(s) who need assistance navigating the healthcare system. The “BCPA” initials after someone’s name indicates they have earned this designation. The PACB continues to develop ongoing standards and practices that reflect the broad knowledge and insight of our community, not just the perspective of any single individual or organization. Accordingly, this Statement is the product of countless hours of volunteer work by a diverse group of board members, task force members, practitioners, and professionals, drawing on numerous resources as well as professional experiences. The PACB further believes that Board Certified Patient Advocates must continue to expand their skills and knowledge in order to enhance the quality of services they provide; thus certification renewal requirements must be met through ongoing, professional continuing education (CE) efforts which enhance the Advocate’s knowledge beyond that which is required for initial certification. Our Leadership and professional Advocates incorporate the broad skills, experiences, and capabilities which can only be achieved through such ongoing efforts in both practice and education which includes CE specifically related to the principles and ideals of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the Patient and Health Care Advocate profession.
Formal Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
The Patient Advocate Certification Board specifically condemns discrimination and injustice in all forms related but not limited to age, appearance, ability or disability, ethnicity, gender, geographic location, nationality, professional level or practice setting, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. We value and seek justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within the profession and promote a welcoming environment leveraging the unique characteristics, perspectives, and contributions of a diverse client/patient population. Moreover, we advocate for efforts to end systemic racism and inequity, thereby affirming the inherent dignity and value of every individual in the health/medical/social advocacy communities.
As affirmed, the Board expresses not only our support for, but is actively committed to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts. JEDI principles and ideals are woven into the key elements of our qualifications, Advocate Code of Professional Conduct, and ongoing certification requirements for Certificants, with specific emphasis on dignity and worth of every individual and upholding consistently high standards. We are compelled to champion these ideals in both word and deed, and expressly uphold our commitments to:
Always placing public interest above our own;
- Dedicating ourselves to ongoing discussion and action to address our role in Patient and Health Care Advocacy;
- Respecting the rights and inherent dignity of all others, especially but not limited to those we serve;
- Maintaining objectivity in our relationships with clients/patients and their care teams; and
- Acting with objectivity, integrity, dignity, and fidelity at all times.
To that end, the PACB further:
- Acknowledges ancestral, historic, and current systemic and communal inequities;
- Welcomes professional Advocates of all backgrounds which are reflective of those we serve, including but not limited to ethnicity, nationality, race, religion, age, gender identity, ability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status; and not least,
- Recognizes diversity is essential for the broadest responsible use of our knowledge and skills as professional Patient and Health Care Advocates.
Thank You & Acknowledgements
PACB is indebted to the members of our JEDI Committee, Heather Guidone, Malynnda Johnson, Tiffany Matthews, and Lee Mulert. Their work and this Statement draw upon the established resources of colleagues paving the way in diversity and inclusion in our profession. To that end, we owe gratitude to our peers, including but not limited to, Annie Gardiner of the Bay Area Health Advocates Equity Taskforce, those at the Commission for Case Manager Certification, the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy, the Stanford School of Medicine Biophysics Program, and HealthAdvocateX for their ongoing work and inspiration in this space. Above all else, we are grateful for the clients/patients and community members who engage us as learners in the conversations, skill-building, and ongoing efforts to dismantle inequities in the healthcare and advocacy communities.
Justice Equity Diversity & Inclusivity Scholarship Program
The Patient Advocate Certification Board has established a scholarship program to support patient and health care advocates and to encourage diversity in the pool of professionals holding the Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA) credential.
BCPA Lapel Pins
The Patient Advocate Certification Board proudly introduces the BCPA Lapel Pin – a tangible symbol of the achievement for individual patient and health care advocates who have earned the Board Certified Patient Advocate credential. All proceeds from the Lapel Pin project support the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship program.