Who remembers paper road maps? Before GPS navigation systems and navigation apps on mobile phones, people would unfold an unwieldy paper map and use it to plan and track progress on their journey. Whatever form they take, road maps provide guidance for reaching a destination.

Tracking and assessing “road map” progress is key to advancing health equity. Hospitals and health systems are working to provide culturally appropriate care, create an equitable and inclusive organizational culture, invest in hospital-community partnerships to foster healthy neighborhoods, and more — all with the goal, or destination, of delivering high-quality, equitable health care.

AHA’s Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Awards recognize outstanding efforts to advance health equity. The AHA Institute for Diversity and Health Equity has redesigned the awards so that hospitals and health systems can apply to the category that best represents their progress on the health equity journey.

  • The Transforming Award recognizes a hospital system that is implementing strategies to influence equity in the surrounding community ecosystem.
  • The Emerging Award recognizes a hospital that is leveraging the AHA Health Equity Roadmap resources to dismantle structural barriers in their care delivery system and the communities they serve.
  • The Small/Rural Hospital Excellence Award recognizes a hospital or health system that has demonstrated excellence in advancing health equity in rural or small communities.

Hospital and health system teams applying for the awards will illustrate their progress toward health equity by describing 1) how it aligns with levers in the AHA Health Equity Roadmap and 2) how their organization is using innovation to advance health equity. Visit the IFDHE website to learn more. The application period closes Nov. 18.

This is an opportunity for hospitals and health systems to share with the field and public their outstanding work toward advancing diversity, inclusion and health equity. Although organizations may be at different places on the journey, let’s celebrate the progress toward our shared destination: ensuring all individuals reach their highest potential for health.

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