The mission of the AHA’s Institute for Diversity and Health Equity is to advance equity, diversity and inclusion in health care. Our vision is to empower health organizations to provide equitable care for all persons. In its first year of operating under a new framework, membership structure and the branding of a new name and communication’s strategy—the Institute, as the only national organization devoted exclusively to advancing health equity, diversity and inclusion in the field—lived up to its mission and vision statements by providing guidance and benefits to its members and community partners. The record number of participants on webinars and increased engagement in efforts to enhance Equity of Care (EOC) pledge goals demonstrated our commitment to our mission and vision. In addition, there was a noticeable increase in the number of requests to the Office of the President to speak, present and moderate panels at national, state and local health care conferences and meetings. Growing stakeholder relationships, engaging new members and exploring opportunities to collaborate with non-traditional partners was fundamental to the success of the new business model. Under the new structure, our fee-based membership that includes for-profit organizations, non-AHA members, state, regional and metropolitan hospital associations, academic organizations, and full-time students continues to grow.
The Institute for Diversity and Health Equity achieved another year of strong performance, demonstrating our strengths in providing leadership and tools to meet today’s challenges to accelerate health equity, diversity and inclusion efforts. We invite you to explore some of the highlights and successes from 2018 below:
In June, we celebrated a successful National Leadership and Education Conference in Chicago that included a “standing room only” SEP Alumni breakfast, a Trailblazer’s panel of leaders from our founding organizations as well as the women health care executives panel moderated by AHA board chair, Nancy Howell Agee. View a summary of the conference here: http://www.diversityconnection.org/diversityconnection/leadership-conferences/About-Conferences.jsp
At the AHA Annual Meeting, we proudly launched our EOC Toolkit. This resource benefits our members with access to case examples, PowerPoint slide decks, our 123forEquity Pledge video, health disparity and equity webinar recordings, and various program briefs. Download the Toolkit here: http://www.equityofcare.org/resources/resources/2018%20EOC%20Toolkit.pdf
During the AHA Leadership Summit in July, Navicent Health, Macon, GA received the Equity of Care Award as representatives from Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC, Cone Health, Greensboro, NC, Regional Health, Rapid City, SD, and Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL were recognized as honorees at the ceremony. To learn more about the Equity of Care initiative, please visit: http://www.equityofcare.org/
Over the course of the last year, we have seen a resurgence in interest from stakeholders wishing to address diversity, inclusion and health equity issues. The Institute and AHA, through our strategic alliances, continue to strengthen partnerships to increase diversity within governance and promote innovative and sustainable collaborations that ultimately lead to healthier communities. To that end, we have formed groundbreaking strategic alliances with the National Urban League (NUL) and UnidosUS to advance health equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. The AHA and UnidosUS partnership seeks to connect UnidosUS leaders with opportunities to serve on AHA member hospital and health system boards as well as promoting better health outcomes in Latino communities. For more information, please visit: https://www.aha.org/aha-strategic-alliances
The Institute continues to promote the Community Health Worker (CHW) Initiative, which launched in November 2017 as one of the goals of the AHA/NUL strategic alliance. We convened a national meeting of Urban League leaders, practitioners from hospital/health systems as well as federal and state agency officials to define the community health worker’s role, the value of credentialing for these workers and examined funding sources for sustainable strategies to make these successful programs replicable in communities of varying size. The CHW Consortium was key to creating the Building a CHW Program: The Key to Better Care, Better Outcomes & Lower Costs guidebook, which is now available to AHA member hospitals. Access the guidebook and an Executive Summary of the meeting here: https://www.aha.org/guidesreports/2018-10-17-building-community-health-worker-program-key-better-care-better-outcomes
The Institute for Diversity and Health Equity, with generous support from the Aetna Foundation, launched the Hospital Community Cooperative (HC²), a national program dedicated to closing gaps in health equity. The yearlong inaugural program kicked off September 26-28 in Chicago with an intensive three-day Learning Lab. To read more please visit: https://www.aha.org/press-releases/2018-09-26-aha-pilots-new-national-program-pairing-hospitals-community-partners
During the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) 50th Anniversary and National Education Conference October 10-12 in Orlando, FL, AHA sponsored the Public Policy Forum where Interim Institute President Cynthia Washington moderated a panel discussion addressing the theme of violence as a growing public health concern. https://www.nahse.org/
The Institute is pleased to announce the new LGBTQ Virtual Journey Learning Series. The Series will promote the importance of addressing the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and feature the latest information and trends in health care strategies for implementing practices to eliminate health care disparities. The target audience will include clinicians, the workforce, patients, families and the community at large. Topic areas for consideration are care treatment services, employee practices, workforce training, policy creation, patient, family and community engagement, national approaches and practices, LGBTQ health disparities, data collection and use, safe zones and leadership strategies.
The Institute for Diversity and Health Equity looks forward to continuing its mission in 2019 with many exciting events coming up, including the 2019 National Rural Health Care Conference, the #123forEquity training symposium in Virginia, and a new cohort of candidates for the Certificate in Diversity Management in Health Care Program in January. We thank our members, stakeholders, and community partners for their support and collaborative engagement.