Steven Player will take on the newly created role of vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion for BJC HealthCare on November 1. The role was created to advance BJC’s mission to provide equitable, culturally aware care for all patients and ensure a diverse, culturally competent workforce.
Player currently serves as executive director of diversity, inclusion and community engagement for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where he oversees diversity and inclusion education, extensive language services and works to ensure that BJC’s exceptional care is equitable for all.
Player’s background is as a pharmacist. He originally joined Barnes-Jewish hospital in 1995 as a pharmacy intern and worked his way up to inpatient pharmacy manager. In that role, he created the Barnes-Jewish Hospital-Xavier University College of Pharmacy collaboration and co-founded the BJH, Express Scripts and St. Louis College of Pharmacy (BESt) Pharmacy Summer Institute, serve as a diverse workforce pipelines into the health care field.
“The needle has not moved much in terms of ethnic minorities,” Player told The American in 2017 when BESt celebrated its tenth anniversary. “When you look at ethnic and cultural diversity, it’s not there. We just all happened to be in pharmacy, the program directors for BESt, but that’s universal for pre-med, physicians, nursing, for all of our STEM-based professions. So, this is another conscious effort to hopefully take a stab at that.”
Player earned his doctor of pharmacy degree from Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy in New Orleans, his master’s in business administration degree from Webster University in St. Louis, and a certificate in diversity management in health care from the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity and Georgetown University. He served as adjunct faculty to Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy (XUCOP) and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
He remains a member of the XUCOP’s Dean’s Advisory Board, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis board, and the Girls Inc. St. Louis board. He has participated in several prestigious leadership programs including the FOCUS Impact Fellow, FOCUS St. Louis/Leadership St. Louis, and the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellow programs.
“Look at the changing demographics of our country, and look at some of the opportunities we have to improve not just the health outcome of our community, but our families and our friends,” Player told The American in 2017.
“Do you want to play an active role in that? And if healthcare and math and science are things you enjoy doing and are strong at, I would strongly encourage you to consider a career in healthcare or in another STEM profession.”