Ricardo Forbes makes diversity a natural at Baptist Health and for minority businesses at the local chamber of commerce
Ricardo Forbes wears many hats. Well, actually, four. He is a corporate vice president and chief diversity officer at Baptist Health South Florida; chairman of the board of the Miami-Dade County Chamber of Commerce; and, most importantly, he is the husband of Bonnie-Lee, and the father of two young ladies; Alisha, 31, who lives in Spain, and Kerri-Ann, 29.
As the chief diversity officer for Baptist Health, he "has three focus areas," Mr. Forbes said. "One is the workplace, marketplace, andů the workforce basically. What it entails is ensuring that the workforce is truly reflective off the community."
"We serve both the community at-large and our patient population within the marketplace," he said. "My role is to ensure that the businesses in Dade County are also reflective in the businesses that we do business with."
Mr. Forbes said his role at Baptist complements his role at the chamber.
"The chamber is an organization that represents small minority business owners," he said. "My role as a chairman is to establish the mission and the vision of the organization, along with my fellow board members, in how well we serve that minority population."
With his decades of experience working in hospitals, Mr. Forbes said, he sees the Affordable Healthcare Act as a plus for some segments of the population.
"We're in the early stages of seeing where the affordable care act will actually go," he said. "but I can tell you from a chief diversity officer's perspective one of the things I see in this act is — it could also be termed a diversity act — most of the uninsured population tend to be minorities and, therefore, by creating opportunity for minorities to access to health care, access to hospitals, it is truly creating a benefit for the minorities of the nation who do not have health care."
Mr. Forbes talked about his career, the chamber and other issues at his Baptist Health South Florida office in Coral Gables with Miami Today reporter Lou Ortiz.
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