RUSH recruiter Kevin Irvine is among 54 Chicago-area HR leaders named to Crain’s 2022 list of Notable Executives in HR and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“One thing I appreciate about our current time is the growing recognition that successful organizations require diversity and inclusion," says Irvine, senior talent acquisition consultant, individuals with disabilities at RUSH University Medical Center, "not only to bring together talented people with unique backgrounds, but also because it fosters creativity and efficiency and fuels retention and recruitment. That is so exciting and why I love what I do.”
Irvine joined RUSH four years with a background of advocacy for people with disabilities and as a stay-at-home parent for his 16-year-old daughter, who has multiple disabilities. When Irvine brought her to the Medical Center for craniofacial surgery in 2017, he was impressed and grateful, because their experience was so positive. Soon thereafter, he saw a position at the Medical Center in human resources for someone with advocacy experience and felt it was an ideal fit.
Irvine, who has disabilities himself (HIV and hemophilia B), leads disability inclusion initiatives to make the Medical Center an inclusive and accessible place for our patients, visitors, staff, faculty and students. He co-chairs the Medical Center’s ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) Task Force and leads RUSH's Disabilities Employee Resource Group. .
The percentage of Medical Center job applicants self-identifying as having a disability jumped from 3.1% in 2019 to 5.5% by 2022. In July, the Medical Center was recognized by Disability:IN as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” for the fourth consecutive year.
“We need to normalize the word disability, whether a disability is visible or invisible,“ Irvine says. “Applicants should feel comfortable checking that box when they apply. If accommodations are needed, we can do that. My goal is to continue growing our disabled workforce every year.’
Irvine’s other accomplishments include leading the Medical Center’s participation in the HireTransNOW campaign to support transgender and gender non-conforming job seekers; organizing and participating in Chicago’s annual Disability Pride Parade; and supporting Medical Center employees in developing their disability identities and leadership skills.