Health system appoints diversity officer

Ovell Barbee. Courtesy Spectrum Health

A local health system has named its new diversity officer.

Spectrum Health said it appointed Ovell Barbee, human resources SVP, to the role, in addition to his current responsibilities.

In the role, Barbee will lead Spectrum’s inclusion and diversity efforts in recruitment, attraction and development of talent. He will continue work to foster an environment that is welcoming and respectful for all, while leading talent acquisition and employee relations for the organization.

He will spearhead the organization’s strategic initiative on workforce diversity, as well as several employee-led affinity groups.

With more than 30,000 employees, Spectrum said leadership sees the new role as an “important next step” in its culture and community investment.

“Spectrum Health has taken deliberate steps to foster an environment that is inclusive, equitable and representative of our communities,” Barbee said.

“I applaud the current and previous leaders who conducted needs assessments and developed the foundation on which we now move forward. I look forward to building upon those successes to ensure we are providing a welcoming environment for our patients, members and colleagues.”

Barbee began his human resources role at Spectrum Health in 2016.

“Ovell brings a unique skillset and professional background that will continue our innovative work in inclusion and diversity,” said Pamela Ries, chief human resources officer, Spectrum Health.

He has a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification from the HR Certification Institute and a Senior Certified Professional certification from the Society of HR Managers.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan, as well as a master’s degree in human resources and labor management from Michigan State University.

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