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Monday, January 13th 2003

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) nearly 5,000 hospitals, health systems, networks and other providers of care, we hope you find the attached information of use as you discuss the issues of access and health care disparities among minority populations.

We are particularly interested in working with you and your colleagues to address the racial and ethnic disparities in our nation’s health care system.  But finding solutions to this problem will require collaborative efforts from all stakeholders – health care providers, other community leaders, consumers, and local and national policy makers.

The attached publication, “Broaden the Base: An Excerpt from In Our Hands,” highlights what some in health care already are doing to increase the racial and ethnic diversity among our health care workforce.  We have also included a map to help those concerned begin to think about and work through this complex set of issues.  The AHA is also working on several initiatives to more clearly define the causes of disparities, and then develop solutions:

  • The AHA is forming a Leadership Circle, comprised of key hospital leaders, to learn about, better understand and address this issue.
  • The AHA is developing a clearinghouse of information on “best” practices in America’s hospitals and health care facilities, highlighting ideas and programs aimed at reducing ethnic and racial health care disparities.
  • The AHA will develop public policy options that can begin to eliminate disparities.
  • The AHA is seeking to collaborate with other health care groups and stakeholders, as well as community, civic and congressional groups, to lead the discussion and find solutions.

If we can be of further help on this issue, please do not hesitate to contact the AHA’s Tama Mattocks, senior associate director for legislative affairs, at (202) 626-2291 or via e-mail at tmattocks@aha.org.

We look forward to continuing our relationship with you and your colleagues on Capitol Hill as we seek solutions to this national problem.

Sincerely,

Dick Davidson
President


Attachment:  Sources and Causes: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care

 

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