Press Release

American Hospital Association and National Urban League Announce Alliance to Advance Health Equity and Diversity

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and the National Urban League (NUL) today announced an alliance to advance health equity and diversity in health care leadership in communities across the U.S.

The organizations will collaborate on efforts to connect hospital and health system CEOs with local Urban League leaders interested in opportunities to serve on governing boards at hospitals and health systems, develop resources for the field and share best practices on community health worker (CHW) programs, and promote shared policy solutions to persistent challenges that affect the health of vulnerable communities.

“To truly advance health in America, we must improve the quality of care for everybody, in every community,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “These efforts begin by focusing on greater equity of care and more diversity in health care leadership. The AHA has long been committed to this goal, and I’m excited for what this partnership will mean for hospitals across the country.”

“Disparities in health care don’t just carry a human cost in higher levels of illness, disability and death, but also billions of dollars in lost economic activity,” NUL President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “This cost is borne overwhelmingly by African-Americans in higher health care spending, and, tragically, significantly higher levels of illness, disability and death. Addressing diversity in health care leadership is an important step in shrinking the health care gap, and I look forward to a productive and successful partnership with the AHA.”

While working with hospital CEOs and NUL leaders interested in opportunities to serve on hospital and health system governing boards, the AHA will provide support and education to NUL leaders throughout the process creating a replicable model for communities across the country.

To help communities achieve good health by connecting individuals to needed services, the AHA and NUL will develop resources for AHA member hospitals and health systems on CHWs and how hospitals can incorporate CHWs into care delivery and population health strategies. The AHA and NUL will also work on a stakeholder convening related to CHW models later this year.  

As part of the alliance, the AHA has become a member of NUL’s Urban Solutions Council and participates in its meetings and policy forums. The Urban Solutions Council was established in 2013 to leverage relationships with NUL private sector partners in advancing aligned policy solutions to persistent challenges in urban workforce, health, education and asset building.

“We are happy to welcome the American Hospital Association to our Urban Solutions Council,” said Don Cravins Jr., NUL’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Executive Director of the Washington Bureau. “This new relationship not only shows intentionality on the part of the AHA to ensure representation throughout their network, but also to develop public policy solutions that will benefit the communities we all care about and serve.”

“To truly impact the health of our communities on a large scale, it takes commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion,” said Gene Woods, AHA chairman, and president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System. “This work with the National Urban League is a great opportunity for the hospital field to provide leadership in accelerating health equity for patients, their families, health care teams and communities.”


About the National Urban League
The National Urban League ( is a historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization dedicated to economic empowerment in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League has improved the lives of more than two million people nationwide through direct service programs that are implemented locally by its 88 Urban League affiliates in 300 communities across 36 states and the District of Columbia. The organization also conducts public policy research and advocacy activities from its Washington, DC Bureau.

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

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