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Dr Amy Orecchio: Expanding JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Values in the Training Program and Beyond

Promoting and upholding JEDI values takes work and intentionality. We highlight the work of Dr. Amy Orecchio, Manager at Kaiser Richmond, who shares essential values and leadership styles that inspire MHTP trainees to further expand the implementation and reach of JEDI values.

In 2015, Dr. Orecchio began her managerial position at the Oakland Kaiser. She was previously a staff psychologist. When she transitioned to Kaiser Richmond, she found a setting dedicated to serving various multicultural patients’ needs as the only community hospital. Kaiser Richmond is also situated in the Bay area and is known for its historical and present-day movements toward civil rights and social justice. Dr. Orecchio described KP (Kaiser Permanente) Richmond as a “socially justice-forward clinic” comprised of colleagues who share JEDI values. Alongside her team, Dr. Orecchio seeks to promote these values further to “match what we offer to the patients we serve.”

Within her team, Dr. Orecchio promotes JEDI values through various staff meetings and access to participate in training. She described how JEDI values are discussed within “staff meetings, case consultations or any disposition meetings,” noting how attending to cultural considerations includes having discussions about the “possible cultural factors at play” and the broader “issues getting in the way of someone accessing treatment.” Dr. Orecchio explained how consultation centered on JEDI values led to the development of the Behavioral Medicine Program within the Pediatrics department, which focuses on creating a “bridge between medical and mental health to reach more families” and decreasing barriers to access.

She also encourages and facilitates her team members “to seek out and attend training, engage in readings, and bring them to consultation” but also gives them “time to attend” such training and events. Similarly, she leans on her clinician’s skills and specializations in addressing patient needs and barriers to create clinician-driven treatment approaches like specialized treatment tracks, expanding language access, and working towards understanding and mitigating barriers to care. Recent efforts include improving Medi-Cal patients’ access to services and increasing the availability of ADHD classes for monolingual Spanish-speaking parents, reflecting La Clinica’s actions within the adult team. “Therapy is not a one-size-fits-all, and it needs to be adjusted to make treatment appropriate for patients,” stated Dr. Orecchio.

Within recruitment efforts, Dr. Orecchio works alongside the Kaiser recruitment team to ensure that employment opportunities are publicized with various EID organizations. In doing so, she hopes to ensure that recruitment reaches BIPOC clinicians and is prioritized, given the varying multicultural patients the clinic serves and her efforts to provide culturally affirming therapy. Dr. Orecchio states this includes being mindful of “language, culture” so that “patients feel that they are being seen in a culturally appropriate way, [and though] not always possible, and I want to be equitable.”

She described her leadership style as interpersonal and collaborative, sprinkling humor as needed to buffer the gravity of our jobs, all while remaining determined to “do this work for the people while holding Kaiser HMO and cultural diversity.” She takes pride in facilitating programming from a managerial and leadership level, describing how she is an “interpreter of what Kaiser wants and what her clinicians can do.” Her strengths lay in her ability to solve problems, her practicality, and her ability to lean on the expertise of her staff who “are doing the work.” Moreover, she describes how she encourages an inclusive team environment by holding four team outings annually.

Thank you, Dr. Orecchio, for sharing your leadership vision and commitment towards JEDI values and encouraging MHTP trainees to emulate these values in their own work.

Contributed by Jacqueline Fuentes, M.Ed., MSW – Psychology Doctoral Intern/ JEDI Trainee Liaison -Oakland/Richmond Kaiser

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