Press Release

AHA Recognizes Cleveland Clinic with Equity of Care Award

Four hospitals will be recognized as honorees

 

Washington (June 21, 2016) – Cleveland Clinic will receive the AHA Equity of Care Award, the American Hospital Association (AHA) announced today. The award recognizes hospitals for their efforts to reduce health care disparities and advance diversity within the organization’s leadership, board and workforce. The MetroHealth System in Cleveland; Navicent Health in Macon, Ga.; CHRISTUS Health in Irving, Texas; and West Tennessee Healthcare in Jackson, Tenn. will be recognized as honorees. The award will be presented July 18 at the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego.

“Our winners’ efforts to reduce health care disparities and foster diversity within their leadership and staff offer powerful examples for the rest of the field,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “They show what can be achieved to ensure that care is equitable for all.” 

The AHA Equity of Care Award was created to recognize outstanding efforts among hospitals and care systems to advance equity of care to all patients and to spread lessons learned and progress toward achieving health equity. Last year, the AHA launched the #123forEquity campaign to accelerate the progress of the National Call to Action to Eliminate Health Care Disparities to ensure equitable care for all persons in every community. 

Cleveland Clinic has demonstrated a sustained commitment to the National Call to Action and the AHA’s #123forEquity campaign. It has developed innovative programs and resources that have helped the health system increase the collection and use of race, ethnicity, language preference and other demographic data; cultural competency training; and diversity at the governance and leadership levels. 

In its effort to create an inclusive organization, Cleveland Clinic has instituted online and instructor-led trainings to increase cultural competence for patient care and improve caregiver interaction, engagement, and management skills; implemented  several pipeline development programs that foster the continuing education of minority talent into health care; and established 11 Employee Resource Groups, including ClinicPride, Interfaith, and Military Veterans, and 19 location-based Diversity Councils that provide strategic programming to raise awareness about health disparities, address the health care and wellness needs of its diverse patient population and offer caregivers the opportunity to further develop their cultural competence skill set. 

The Equity of Care Award is presented annually by the AHA. Hospitals were required to complete an application describing their efforts to provide equitable care and had to participate in the Institute for Diversity in Health Management’s most recent benchmarking survey on diversity and disparities and sign on to the AHA’s #123forEquity pledge campaign. 

Highlights of the Equity of Care Award honorees’ programs

The MetroHealth System– Cleveland

In 2015, The MetroHealth System continued to address equity of care from a system-level, engaging many stakeholders in the effort. Training and development, fostering cultural competence, leadership engagement, language access services, and the data collection and integrity initiative (race, ethnicity and language) were all a part of MetroHealth’s focus for delivering equitable care. For instance, all of MetroHealth’s 6,960 staff completed an inclusion and diversity online module, which highlighted how the health system defines inclusion, diversity, cultural competence and what it looks like in practice. The online module was followed by in-person training and orientation for new employees and caregivers. MetroHealth has undertaken many efforts, including training and mentoring programs, which have led to increased diversity in its leadership and governance. The health system also implemented “Leadership Diversity Dashboards” that are presented to leaders to create awareness, discuss challenges and share resources on building a diverse team and inclusive culture. Last year, the dashboards focused on race and gender, and this year they will highlight additional dimensions of diversity. 

 

Navicent Health – Macon, Ga.
Navicent Health collects 100 percent of each patient’s race, ethnicity, gender and primary language information, and it has partnered with Mercer University to publish peer reviewed articles to identify health disparities. These studies have proposed effective interventions to reduce disparities, and the organization has implemented the strategies, leading to improved patient care. In addition, Navicent Health has taken a number of steps that have led to increasing the diversity of its leadership team by 15 percent since 2012. The organization also has created an Equity of Care Oversight Committee to focus internal attention on health disparities.

 

CHRISTUS Health – Irving, Texas

For the past five years, CHRISTUS Health has worked to ensure that diversity at the leadership and governance ranks in gender, race and ethnicity are more representative of the communities it serves. It is continuing those efforts by having a “culture of health equity, diversity and inclusion” as one of its pillars of its “Compass 2020” strategic direction. By stratifying its utilization data by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic location and language preference and combining it with community data, CHRISTUS Health is building a culture responsive to data which informs its investments to impact population health. The organization has worked with community partners on innovative programs that are designed to engage the community by specifically targeting its most vulnerable members.

 

West Tennessee Healthcare – Jackson, Tenn.

West Tennessee Healthcare created a Diversity and Cultural Competency Task Team in 2014 that includes a physician, nurses, department directors and senior executive management among others to help in the collection and use of race, ethnicity and language preference data. The organization uses the data to improve outcomes and to develop strategies to assist in improving health outcomes. In addition, the hospital works with community partners in a 17-county service area on efforts to eliminate health disparities. Some of these efforts include working with churches on various initiatives, hosting community health expos in underserved communities and providing medications for individuals without health insurance.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.

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