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How KVC Missouri’s DEI+B Council is Building an Inclusive Future

We live in an increasingly interconnected world. Our ability to include, communicate, cooperate and collaborate with a diversity of people has never been more essential. At KVC, we capitalize on our strengths by embracing diversity in ourselves, each other and in the communities we serve. That’s the heart and drive behind our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEI+B) Council at KVC Missouri.

July is a significant month for diversity awareness, especially for the clients we serve at KVC Missouri. July’s themes are tri-fold: it’s Disability Pride Month, Social Wellness Month and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month! All of these commemorations have something in common: celebrating diversity. As we mark these important awareness themes, let’s take an in-depth look at the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEI+B) Council and initiatives at KVC Missouri.

How We Define DEI+B at KVC 

“DEI+B” finds use in many settings and contexts, from corporations and schools to brands and commercials! So it’s important to remember the significance behind each individual letter of the acronym. 

In its simplest form, diversity creates workplaces composed of employees with unique and varied backgrounds, identities and experiences. These include differences in age, race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, ability, appearance, marital status, immigration status, language, military/veteran status, nationality, political ideology, religion, spirituality, sex, sexuality, socio-economic status, career backgrounds and skills. Diverse communities and workplaces enhance productivity, tolerance and welcoming environments, which are key pillars of KVC’s identity.

Understanding and acknowledging how privilege manifests in our workplaces is vital for addressing equity. Long-spanning inequities have widened disparities between privileged and marginalized, underrepresented or underserved groups.

Teacher with students

If diversity means having a workplace composed of employees with unique backgrounds, identities and experiences, inclusion means intentionally and continuously creating a workplace where everyone is welcomed. It also means everyone is respected and has access to equal opportunities, regardless of these diverse attributes.

At the core of connection is a sense of belonging and acceptance. Moreover, acceptance hinges on, fully seeing and hearing each other. We must respect and be intentional about sharing information, assets and our authentic selves with one another. At KVC, we take a holistic approach to belonging. When employees feel they truly belong at work, they feel more connected to their team and committed to the mission of our work together. 

Fostering Belonging & Connection at Work

Our goal is not just to have diverse numbers but to ensure every voice is heard and appreciated! This means we strive to create a welcoming workplace community in which all individuals are considered and included. 

As Dr. Abyssinia “Aby” Tabron, Vice President of Clinical Engagement and DEI+B at KVC Health Systems, explains DEI+B’s role in elevating our culture, “Our aim is to be an organization that is more authentic and more aware of the experiences of others beyond what we look like.”

When team members feel like their uniqueness and authenticity is appreciated at work, their wellbeing greatly benefits. You can only feel like you truly belong when you don’t have to hide away or minimize parts of yourself. We all thrive when we are truly seen, valued and supported in our growth. “When KVC brings awareness and appreciation to the ways we’re similar and different,” Dr. Aby says, “we’re communicating the importance of staying connected to one’s identity and community.” 

DEI+B’s Role in Our Mission

A culture of inclusion and authenticity starts internally with our staff but has ripple effects and pours out to those we serve. As leaders in our field, we believe it is our responsibility at KVC to spearhead growth and change in the mental and behavioral health ecosystems. Our commitment to DEI+B is fueled by our commitment to the diverse representation of the children, adults and families we serve. 

Dr. Abyssinia Tabron - Vice President of Clinical Engagement and DEI+B

“We anchor our approach to healthcare in recognizing that relationships — how people are connected to themselves, their community and their families — actually impact their ability to heal and build resilience.”

-Dr. Abyssinia Tabron, Vice President of Clinical Engagement and DEI+B

KVC Missouri’s DEI+B Council

While all KVC locations have their own DEI+B Councils, the Council at KVC Missouri is relatively young and still growing! The Missouri Council launched in November of last year, making these early days vital for building a strong, energized coalition. It all starts with us establishing a strong team of motivated change agents. We’re looking forward to seeing how this Council furthers our mission to provide even more well-rounded care, education and resources to the children and families we serve across the state. 

Who Can Join the DEI+B Council?

The over 850 employees at KVC Missouri work hard every day for the children and families of our state. Their schedules are often filled with client appointments and essential tasks that are not the most flexible in nature. For this reason, we are working hard to build an infrastructure for the DEI+B Council that allows for as much diversity of voices as possible, making participation achievable for anyone who is interested.

A common misconception about DEI+B efforts is that only those with a “traditionally diverse” background can engage. However, that’s certainly not the case! Everyone is welcome to be a part of DEI+B at KVC Missouri. As Dr. Aby explains, “Diversity encompasses all the ways that we’re similar and different.” We need a diversity of voices to bring a wide variety of lived experiences to the conversation.

Danielle Mohrmann, KVC Missouri CAC Program Manager and member of the KVC Missouri DEI+B Council, shares why her participation in this Council has been meaningful. “DEI+B sets expectations on how we treat each other and clients and how we respond to nuanced situations. We are in the business of human connection, and how to connect appropriately is important. DEI+B informs us on how to connect kinder and how to put the human in human connection.”

“It’s beautiful to spread information on what’s important to people and how we can learn to value that and make space for it.” -Danielle Mohrmann, member of the KVC Missouri DEI+B Council

Join our DEI+B Journey 

DEI+B is about more than just corporate inclusion initiatives. It is about making real, genuine connections and seeking relationally focused, people-centric opportunities for change. This will make our communities safe, welcoming and inclusive for everyone.

As DEI+B initiatives roll out to support KVC Missouri staff in being more informed and aware, we aim to create care communities that celebrate unique identities, experiences, talents, backgrounds and perspectives. Interested in joining a leading team in mental and behavioral healthcare with a commitment to advancing DEI+B in our field? Visit our careers page to learn more about current opportunities!


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