Creating a healthy community calls for focusing on diversity, inclusion and health equity, all of which are priorities at Navicent Health in Macon, GA. Since committing to the AHA #123forEquity pledge in 2015, the health system has taken measurable steps to minimize health care disparities and ensure quality care for all patients.
 
Navicent Health documented health outcomes by evaluating race, ethnicity and language preference data collected at admission for patients with certain conditions. It created programs to address the social determinants of health and improve condition-specific access to clinics for diabetes, heart failure and COPD—and they’ve worked: The health system resolved readmission health care disparities among African-American patients with COPD, HF, and diabetes, and among female patients with diabetes.
 
A cultural competency and engagement program at Navicent Health supports patients, employees, associates, physicians, vendors and other partners. In addition, its board follows a competency-based performance guide as it recruits, selects and reappoints members. The health system uses an assessment tool annually to identify gaps and opportunities in talent and diversity on its board. Since using this tool, diversity in board membership and board committee leadership has increased.
 
Join me in congratulating Navicent Health, recipient of the 2018 Equity of Care Award at the AHA Leadership Summit in late July. This award recognizes hospitals and health systems for their efforts to reduce health care disparities and advance diversity and inclusion to support the goals of the National Call to Action to Eliminate Health Disparities. Also recognized at Leadership Summit as Equity of Care honorees were Rush University Medical Center, Chicago; Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC; Regional Health, Rapid City, SD; and Cone Health, Greensboro, NC. You can read more about Navicent Health and the other honorees at www.equityofcare.org.