Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Connecting with rising voices of healthcare

By Kailah Peters

Feb. 9, 2024 | Article | 4-minute read

Connecting with rising voices of healthcare

At ZS, we know creative solutions are developed by exploring real-world problems with minds from various backgrounds. One of the problems we are exploring today is the inaccessibility, inequity and unaffordability of U.S. healthcare for some. As uncovered in our 2024 Future of Health Report, Black and Hispanic individuals in the U.S. are more likely to avoid healthcare due to hassle, cost and fear of the unexpected. Black consumers in the U.S., specifically, spend almost 50% longer than others traveling to access primary care. 


To help build a future healthcare system that is equitable for all, ZS has established environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities with key goals related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and health equity. By fostering collaboration and focusing on ESG priorities, ZS continues to develop innovative solutions in healthcare and beyond. Recently, we sent two ZSers to the National Association of Health Services Executives’ (NAHSE) annual conference to further conversations around health equity and to connect with potential ZSers. 

Where passion changes lives

NAHSE is a nonprofit association of Black healthcare executives. In years past, ZS has attended a recruiting event and sponsored ZSers to attend the NAHSE annual conference. ZSer Dajzsa McDaniel co-chairs NAHSE’s Young Professionals Committee, which facilitates national opportunities for students and early careerists. Through this network, Dajzsa was able to meet and help recruit Brianna Scott.

“I met Dajzsa while in the first year of my master’s program, studying at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health,” Brianna recalls. “She told me about ZS’s internship opportunities, and I eagerly applied. It’s funny to think how little I knew about consulting back then—a lot of my background was in healthcare management and public health research—but now I’m a full-time consultant.”


During her internship, Brianna gained hands-on experience in market research, paying keen attention to how data and insights translate to patient experience. Thanks to her studies and prior work experience, she knew to use these learnings to advocate for the unique needs of underrepresented patients. “I wanted to ensure that the ways we gained insights and recommendations were equitable and considered the disparate experiences of certain groups of patients while also understanding their unique patient needs,” Brianna says.


This attention to detail and passion for equality lead Brianna to her full-time position as a strategy insights and planning associate on ZS’s patient health and equity accelerator team. This team partners with clients from pharma, medical technology, health plans and providers, nonprofit organizations and more to address inequities in health, well-being and patient outcomes. 


“My internship gave me a great taste of what life at ZS can be like,” Brianna says. “Now I’m relishing in that and looking for more intentional opportunities to learn, lead and grow.”


ZS offers extensive learning opportunities, from professional development coaching to virtual trainings, webinars and more. Most recently, Brianna and Dajzsa were sponsored by ZS’s patient health and equity accelerator to attend the NAHSE annual conference in Atlanta. There, they spent three days networking with industry leaders from the American College of Surgeons, American Heart Association, J.P. Morgan and others. The pair participated in conversations about health equity, gaining insights from across the industry, and networked with current students, discussing ZS’s employment opportunities and ways to follow in Brianna’s and Dajzsa’s footsteps. 

“The conference was a breath of fresh air,” says Brianna. “It was inspiring to be around so many Black professionals and see them come together to tackle hard conversations about health equity. This opportunity allowed me to be at the forefront of these conversations.” 


Since returning from the conference, Brianna and her team have been having long conversations about partnering with clients to put key learnings into action. They’ve discussed what it means to be a disruptor and how they can use this mindset to change healthcare practices for improved patient outcomes. Moreover, the team is in deep conversation about intersectionality in healthcare. Team members are working toward a deeper understanding of how the many facets of a patient’s identity can affect their treatment and health outcomes. Lastly, the team is striving to build collective health equity expertise by sponsoring more ZSers to attend NAHSE’s annual conference.


“The NAHSE conference offers a wide variety and depth of value for my fellow ZSers,” Brianna says with pride. By expanding the team that gets to experience this, ZS can deepen our expertise, further our partnership with the organization and connect with new talent.


To stay informed on ZS’s mission of improving health outcomes for all, follow us on social media.

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