Awards, United Hospital

Spectrum Health Leader Named DEI Champion

Jon Ashford recognized by National Diversity Council.

GREENVILLE, Mich., April 28, 2021 – Spectrum Health executive Jon Ashford was recognized as a diversity champion by the National Diversity Council April 22 for his leadership and commitment to advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

Ashford, the chief operating officer at Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals, was given a Diversity Champion Award virtually at the 17th Annual National Diversity and Leadership Conference last week in Houston.

“I’m extremely honored to be recognized for the DEI Champion award,” Ashford said. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a critical factor on how we are going to raise our organization to fulfill its vision of personalized health made simple, affordable and exceptional. As a leader in the organization, it is my duty to surround myself with diverse people, thoughts, and ideas to assure we are serving all facets of the community.”

Ashford joined Spectrum Health in June of 2020 and was named executive sponsor of the COVID-19 integrated work group last fall to lead Spectrum Health’s strategy in providing COVID-19 vaccines to team members and the community throughout West Michigan. Significant efforts went into pop-up vaccine clinics targeting underserved areas and vaccine advocacy to Black and Brown communities.

“Jon has been a wonderful addition to our team— both locally and across our system,” said Andrea Leslie, president of Spectrum Health United, Kelsey, Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals. “He leads with humility, professionalism and with a personal touch. This DEI Champion Award is another example of his tremendous leadership and character.”

Ashford said the award is one for the entire Spectrum Health team.

“While it is humbling to receive the award, this award directly reflects the individuals I am privileged to serve as their leader,” Ashford said.

Prior to joining Spectrum Health, Ashford served as the chief operating officer and ethics and compliance officer of the Palms of Pasadena Hospital, a 307-bed acute care hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Ashford received his undergraduate degree from Grand Valley State University, before getting his Master of Science degree from Villanova University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ashford and his wife Rachel live in Rockford with their young son, Jonathan.


About Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving more than 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $550 million in community benefit in calendar year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $37 million in philanthropy to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.




John Norton
Corporate Communications Manager
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