Chair File: Addressing Care Disparities and Ensuring Diversity

All future performance improvement projects will address health care disparities. That's the commitment and goal at Navicent Health, an 800-bed, not-for-profit health system in Macon, Ga. In 2015, the health system initiated several new quality and safety programs to address disparities, including for heart failure outcomes in African Americans. To continually build cultural competence, online education modules are available to all employees, with core training mandatory for beginning associates and patient care associates. To create and retain a diverse and inclusive organization, the leadership team works to identify, mentor and coach talented and high-level performers, ensuring diversity among qualified job candidates. Navicent Health also redesigned its governance structure and executive team to integrate diverse talent profiles. As a result, from 2012–2016, diversity on the leadership team increased to more than 15 percent, and middle management diversity increased to 17 percent. More than a third of governance committee members represent diversity. In addition, disparities initiatives are improving patient outcomes, including reducing HF readmissions for African Americans. Ninfa M. Saunders, CEO and president, says the AHA's #123for Equity Pledge to Act campaign has been a “catalyst” for the health system's “next level of performance.” Navicent Health was a 2016 AHA Equity of Care Award honoree.

All future performance improvement projects will address health care disparities. That's the commitment and goal at Navicent Health, an 800-bed, not-for-profit health system in Macon, Ga. In 2015, the health system initiated several new quality and safety programs to address disparities, including for heart failure outcomes in African Americans. To continually build cultural competence, online education modules are available to all employees, with core training mandatory for beginning associates and patient care associates. To create and retain a diverse and inclusive organization, the leadership team works to identify, mentor and coach talented and high-level performers, ensuring diversity among qualified job candidates. Navicent Health also redesigned its governance structure and executive team to integrate diverse talent profiles. As a result, from 2012–2016, diversity on the leadership team increased to more than 15 percent, and middle management diversity increased to 17 percent. More than a third of governance committee members represent diversity. In addition, disparities initiatives are improving patient outcomes, including reducing HF readmissions for African Americans. Ninfa M. Saunders, CEO and president, says the AHA's #123for Equity Pledge to Act campaign has been a “catalyst” for the health system's “next level of performance.” Navicent Health was a 2016 AHA Equity of Care Award honoree.

For more information, contact Roy “Reg” Gilbreath, M.D., SVP chief system of care integration officer, at gilbreath.roy@navicenthealth.org or Carol Babcock, director, palliative care and healthy communities, at babcock.carol@navicenthealth.org. The Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence webinar “Creating a Health-Equitable Organization at Navicent Health” is available to download.

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