VIDEO: How Resource Groups Can Strengthen Employee, Patient and Customer Engagement


Rhonda Crichlow

Vice President and Head, U.S. Diversity and Inclusion

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Rhonda Crichlow began her career as a tax attorney specializing in corporate litigation. But after helping to negotiate a landmark settlement for Black farmers in a racial-discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, her focus changed to community outreach and diversity. As the chief diversity officer at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Crichlow continues to advance the careers of talent from traditionally underserved communities and promote cultural diversity in the workplace.

Prior to joining Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in 2006 as Executive Director of Philanthropy and Community Development, Crichlow worked as a corporate tax attorney and as a legal consultant for the Office of the Monitor. She received her bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in 1987, a master’s in public policy from Duke University in 1988 and a juris doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1992.

Dr. Sharonne Hayes

Director, Diversity & Inclusion

Mayo Clinic

Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes is Professor of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases and founded and maintains an active clinical practice in the Women’s Heart Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She was appointed as Mayo Clinic’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion in 2010. With leadership she sets strategy for D & I activities across Mayo Clinic and develops solutions for equity in patient care and the workforce. She has long advocated for the advancement of women’s health and sex-based medicine within the field of cardiology and across all areas that affect women’s health and well-being.

Dr. Hayes previously directed Mayo Clinic’s Office of Women’s Health, has chaired several task forces and committees involved in optimizing women’s health clinical practice and research activities at Mayo Clinic. She has developed programs to enhance the professional and personal development and mentorship of women physicians in order to promote a more diverse workforce at Mayo and in the field of cardiovascular medicine. She received her medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago and completed fellowships in internal medicine, cardiovascular research, and cardiovascular diseases at the Mayo Clinic Rochester.

Stefanie Thornton

Director, Talent Acquisition

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Stefanie Thornton is a Human Resources Professional with over 15 years of experience building and leading Talent Acquisition teams to drive business efficiency. She has worked within multiple industries including healthcare, telecommunications and consulting. As Director of Talent Acquisition with Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI, Stefanie has oversight for the staffing and recruitment function on a state wide level for Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI and Blue Care Network. Her role includes Diversity Recruitment, Intern Programs, College Relations & Recruitment, New Employee Orientation and Talent Technologies. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and a graduate of Leadership Detroit Class XXXIV.

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