Who We Are

Our Vision

Cayuga Health System commits to treat all people with dignity so that everyone who comes to us are safe, cared for, and respected. We will support the growth of our employees and the health of our community by embracing the rich diversity of social and cultural identities, needs, and life circumstances of all people. We strive to recognize and overcome personal biases and systemic policies that marginalize others and contribute to disparities in healthcare access, equitable care, and good health outcomes.

Herb Alexander - he/him/his

It is an honor to be the first Chief Diversity Officer at Cayuga Health System. It is a role that I do not take for granted. As we build a house for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, my commitment is that we will work alongside all our community members to ensure our system is built on equity, inclusion and belonging.

I am excited to use my abilities to influence our path towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. My skills are in the areas of strategy development, talent management, professional development coaching, conflict resolution, mediation, program implementation and social justice advocacy. Prior to joining the Cayuga Health team, I worked in higher for many years. During my time in higher education, I served in many roles including a Director for Multicultural Student Success, a Chief Diversity Officer, an Associate Dean of Students, and a Division II Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach. I plan to use the learning from each of these positions to help equip our health system with the tools needed to address health and workforce inequities.

The most beneficial part of my former work in higher education was the consistent interactions with students. The value of working with students was that it never allowed me to forget who was being impacted by the decisions made by myself and my colleagues. I bring this same mindset to our work in healthcare. Regardless of initiative, every decision will be made with our patients, community members and employees as a top priority.

Julia Ressler - she/her/hers

I am more than excited to engage with our community as we work together to improve the health of our population. My skills are in the areas of social determinants of health work, trauma-informed care, harm reduction practices, LGBTQ+ health, grant management, population health, and more. I hold a master’s degree in both public health and social work from Temple University. Prior to joining Cayuga Health, I worked in Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services in the Division of Children and Youth as a social worker. It was in this role that I solidified my interest in community health strategies that create conditions to better support the health and well-being of all families. Later, I worked with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (LGH), in the areas of health promotion and community health. While at LGH, I learned how to develop and implement plans to meet community and population health needs in the areas of substance use, social determinants of health, and LGBTQ+ health.

Now, as the Manager for Community Health & Engagement at Cayuga Health, I will work to develop & implement a community health strategy that improves access and engagement for our community, especially among community members that access healthcare the least. My goal is to bring community voices to the forefront and develop mechanisms for community-based partnerships that address the root causes of negative health outcomes.

We welcome and invite questions, concerns or ideas

We welcome your ideas on how to best co-develop our future steps to achieve an equitable and inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and circumstances.

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