Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Community EngagementCompany: Westchester Medical Center Health Network
Role: Session Presenter
2021 Conference Session:
Healthcare Practitioners: Identifying the Nexus Between DEI Challenges and Opportunities
Mecca E. Mitchell, Esq., is the senior vice president of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement for the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), a 10-hospital system located in the Hudson Valley. She is responsible for building and leveraging relationships with external stakeholders (i.e., community-based organizations, faith-based institutions, academic institutions, government entities, social service providers, and the business community) to explore new and innovative partnerships that create sustainable health and promote community vitality. She is also charged with ensuring that all internal organizational policies and procedures across the hospital network are aligned with diversity, inclusion, and equity best practices. With a leadership role that spans across these two realms, Mecca is uniquely positioned to ensure that WMCHealth is creating supportive structures for its talented workforce, welcoming environments for patients and their families, and an organizational culture that is responsive to the dynamic needs of the communities it serves.
Prior to this position, Mecca served as the chief diversity officer for the State of New York. Appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in September 2013, she was responsible for the creation and implementation of recruitment and retention initiatives designed to promote workforce diversity and inclusion, while also leading statewide initiatives to increase Minority & Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) procurement opportunities.
Prior to joining the Cuomo administration, Ms. Mitchell was the executive director of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity Management for the New York City Department of Education, the largest school district in the country. In that role she was responsible for ensuring department-wide compliance with all EEO laws and diversity policies by overseeing the Discrimination Complaint Unit, the Procurement/Contract Compliance Unit, the Training Unit, the Disability Rights Unit, Title IX Unit, and the Diversity Management Unit — a unit that Mecca created.
She began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney’s Office. Appointed by renowned Robert M. Morgenthau in 2000, she prosecuted assorted criminal matters as a member of the Trial Division, Sex Crimes Unit, Domestic Violence Unit, and the Welfare Fraud Unit.
Mecca holds certifications from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Diversity Management and Equal Employment Opportunity Studies. Ms. Mitchell, who is licensed to practice law in both New York and New Jersey, graduated from Hofstra University’s School of Law in June 2000 and is a graduate of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, where she double-majored in criminal justice and political science.
She sits on the board of United Way of Westchester and Putnam Counties and the board of the Early Childhood Education Center in Poughkeepsie. She also volunteers her time as a mentor for Judge Judy’s Her Honor Mentorship Program.
Mecca has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades and is a sought-after public speaker presenting on the topics of diversity, supplier diversity, creating inclusive environments, and leadership.