July 24, 2015

U.S. Department of Labor features Mayo employee who founded employee resource group for those with disabilities

By Amy Olson

When Gretl Kruse saw a need, she jumped into action. In 2014, the Mayo Clinic project manager formed Mayo Clinic’s disABILITY employee resource group with several other colleagues.

Kruse said they started the group to improve the experience of Mayo Clinic’s patients and employees with disabilities.

Kruse and the group’s efforts are featured by the U.S. Department of Labor on its website, commemorating of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Signed into law in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act is civil rights legislation that works to increase inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life, including the workforce.

“The group is formed of Mayo employees with disabilities and colleague allies who, together, work to connect employees and patients with needed resources. Together, we advocate for positive change,” Kruse told the Department of Labor. Gretl Kruse, project manager at Mayo Clinic, helped found the disABILITY employee resource group at Mayo Clinic.

For example, the employee resource group regularly consults with Mayo Clinic care teams to help them better understand and respond to the needs of people with disabilities, whether they are patients or employees.

Open to all employees, Mayo Employee Resource Groups – or MERGs – are groups of employees formed around shared characteristics or life experiences. Ninety percent of Fortune 500 companies use employee resource groups. Each MERG now has a strategic focus that supports one or more of Mayo Clinic’s diversity and inclusion goals. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion provides financial and administrative support.

Diversity and inclusion are central to Mayo Clinic’s mission to provide excellent, culturally relevant care in a welcoming environment to patients from a variety of backgrounds. Diversity and inclusion also are important to creating a work environment where differences are valued, allowing Mayo Clinic’s staff members to achieve their fullest potential. Since 2011, Mayo Clinic has been recognized by Diversity Inc. as a Top Hospital and Health System.

To read the profile on Kruse and the Employee Resource Group, go to the U.S. Department of Labor’s site and scroll down the page.

Tags: #FutureofHealthCare, Americans with Disabilities Act, disABILITY employee resource group, Employee Resource Groups, Florida, Gretl Kruse, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, U.S. Department of Labor

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