Associate Blog | ABIDE Reflection

Michelle McClay

Michelle McClay

Chief Integration Officer

ABIDE is the framework guiding how Ascension and its subsidiaries live out our shared mission by celebrating the inherent dignity of each and every person. The hallmarks of the ABIDE framework are demonstrations of Ascension’s historic values, including a commitment to social justice, compassionate action, and advocacy for all, especially the most vulnerable. Inclusion is active, culturally transformative, and shows up in how we value differences, welcome individuals to serve with us, and ensure all associates have the opportunity to attain their full potential. This requires a mutually safe space for conversation focused on changing hearts and minds. 

Michelle McClay, Chief Integration Officer, co-leader of The Resource Group ABIDE Council, and representative on Ascension’s National ABIDE Collaborative, shares more on ABIDE at The Resource Group.

As one of the leadership sponsors for ABIDE, I am honored to share our goals and progress to date in relation to ABIDE at The Resource Group. But, before I dive into those details I first would like to provide a bit of context.

The Resource Group’s ABIDE council was formed in May 2021 with the purpose of integrating the ABIDE hallmarks throughout The Resource Group in big and small ways. Through education, engagement, and inspiration we believe we can build on the amazing culture The Resource Group fosters and create deeper more meaningful connections between our associates and our work.

With that being said, it was very important for us to create a council focused on action rooted in the needs of our associates. A few items the group has been able to accomplish are below:


  • ‘Call me by my name’: Organization-wide education on name phonetics and cultural significance
  • Piloting ABIDE Engagement Committees: Community specific individuals who will implement ABIDE hallmarks across their Community’s specific workstreams
  • Culturally inclusive patient products and supplies: Evaluation  of patient personal products and supplies, such as bandages, hair and skin care products, and patient gowns, to be more culturally sensitive

The Resource Group ABIDE Council also led small group discussions coined ‘ABIDE Alive!’. The group interviewed over 60 associates across The Resource Group’s Communities and began mapping the process to turn associate needs into actionable steps. As ABIDE grows and its impact expands across The Resource Group, it is my personal hope that ABIDE can allow all associates to experience a deeper understanding of themselves, just like it did for me.  Because of ABIDE, I have grown in my own personal journey, specifically in better understanding my own racial identity as a bi-racial woman and how being adopted at birth made me who I am.  In addition, I have witnessed so many beautiful moments of self-awareness and growth with my colleagues because of the encouragement to explore and share one’s story. 

The ABIDE work is important to me because I want everyone to feel that they can bring their whole self to work, be appreciated for who they are, without exception. The ABIDE work is important to The Resource Group because we believe in the intentional creation of a culture where everyone thrives.