Much work remains to close gaps in health equity and it’s clear it will take multiple initiatives, collaboration and funding to achieve substantive and lasting progress. Recent moves by disruptors like Amazon and Walmart indicate a growing willingness to put resources behind their objectives to improve access to care and health equity.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has pledged to invest $40 million over the next three years in organizations working on improving health outcomes for underserved and underrepresented communities.
The company will provide technical support and expertise to organizations that want to leverage AWS in any of the following areas:
- Increasing access to health services for underserved communities.
- Addressing social determinants of health.
- Leveraging data to promote more equitable and inclusive systems.
Applications for funding are due Nov. 15.
Meanwhile, Walmart is partnering with Grand Rounds Health and Doctor on Demand on a digital health program aimed at addressing disparities among African American workers. Walmart and a group of other large employers, including Accenture, Best Buy, Genentech, Medtronic, State Farm and Target, are spearheading a new initiative called the Black Community Innovation Coalition in partnership with the virtual care company.
Together, the companies employ more than 500,000 African American workers. The goal is to create a culturally specific concierge service to engage workers of color on their health.
Elsewhere, providers like Providence are stepping up their efforts to raise funds to help support health equity goals for the health system. It launched the Providence National Foundation to drive philanthropy for technology-driven innovation and clinical research toward whole-person care, health equity and more.
Funding will power the programs and services that provide access to the latest technology, equipment, facilities and research, so caregivers can deliver the same high-quality health outcomes in every community we serve — from rural areas to large cities, Providence President and CEO Rod Hochman, M.D., said in a statement.
The AHA also has been leading efforts to help providers accelerate health equity. Four AHA toolkits are now available to help organizations address data collection, training, diversity and inclusion, and community partnerships.