Recap of the 2018 National Leadership and Education Conference

July 5, 2018

Thank you to all of our 2018 National Leadership & education Conference speakers, attendees, conference underwriters and staff!

Here are a few highlights from another successful conference:

AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack opened the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity's National Leadership & Education Conference by affirming the AHA's commitment to health equity, diversity and inclusion. He noted the association's efforts to increase access to care in vulnerable communities, stabilize insurance markets, rein in drug prices, expand Medicaid and defend patient protections, and eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. Pollack also made the business case for diversity and inclusion in health care, noting that success in a fee-for-value reimbursement environment requires embracing diverse patient populations, having a diverse and culturally competent workforce, and addressing disparities of care, which are all part of "redefining the H." Pollack urged conference attendees to continue to partner with public and private sector allies to emphasize the benefits of equity, diversity and inclusion. Safe neighborhoods and schools; education and health literacy; ample access to healthy food; and various other social supports underpin population health, Pollack said, accounting for 80% of health outcomes. "Without making progress in addressing the social determinants of health, we cannot make real progress in addressing health care costs," he said. Read more.

The Institute’s interim president and CEO, Cynthia Washington, welcomed attendees to the conference and set the stage for the two-day meeting by sharing her own story of the high-mortality rate she faced as an African American woman born prematurely in the 1950s. Although health care has come a long way, "now is our time to strengthen our commitment, enhance our relationships with community organizations and collaborate with nontraditional partners," Washington said. "We need thought leaders and subject matter experts like you to amplify our efforts toward addressing health inequity."

Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, MSNBC Political Analyst, and president and CEO of The Steele Group, shared his personal story and discussed the current political climate and the impact to America.

A panel discussion moderated by Institute Chairman Nicholas Tejeda, market CEO of The Hospitals of Providence in El Paso, TX, featuring representatives of the Institute's founding members. Fred Hobby, past president and CEO of the Institute; Deborah Bowen, president and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives; Richelle Webb-Dixon, president of National Association of Health Services Executives; and Michael Rodgers, senior vice president of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, discussed the history of their organizations' early commitments to diversity; present-day work related to inclusion and the future ahead for health equity.

Michellene Davis, executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer of RWJBarnabas Health in New Jersey, discussed how the health system is addressing the social determinants of health and investing its community.

A panel discussion on the Evolving Role of Women in Health Care Leadership led by Nancy Howell Agee, chair of AHA Board of Trustees and president and CEO of Carilion Clinic, featured Christina Campos, administrator, Guadalupe County Hospital, Santa Rosa, NM; Retired Col. Vivian Hutson, FACHE, medical center director, Cincinnati VA Medical Center Hospitals; and Pamela M. Sutton-Wallace, chief executive officer of University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA.

Sandra Ogunremi, DHA, CDM, senior diversity consultant, Regional Health, SD, presented Creating an Organization that Embraces Cultural Awareness to Advance Equitable and Compassionate Care and shared insights from Regional Health and how it achieved positive outcomes for its work in health equity.

Linda Stokes, president, PRISM International, discussed how to integrate and elevate employee resource groups.

Advancing Health Equity: The Role of Payers and Providers was co-presented by Esteban López, M.D., chief medical officer and southwest Texas market president Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, and Derek J. Robinson, M.D., vice president, Enterprise Quality and Accreditation, Health Care Service Corporation.

Next-Generation Diversity was presented by Andrés Tapia, senior client partner and global diversity and inclusion solutions leader for Korn Ferry, shared demographic shifts, his perspective on “next-generation diversity” and how this approach is key for organizations that wish to move the needle on diversity and inclusion that incorporates cultural competency and the business imperative to enable success.

Richard Lui, journalist and author, shared his personal story, explored current headlines and its impact on health care.

The closing session included a video on courageous leadership featuring Steve J. Corwin, M.D., president and CEO, New York Presbyterian Hospital and chair of the AHA’s Health Care Systems Governing Council. After the video, Jean Mavrelis, CEO, KMA engaged the audience in a broader discussion examining Dr. Corwin’s critical “Call to Action” for health care leaders to begin conversations that have the potential to make exponential change.

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