Advancing health equity must be of utmost importance for all of us working in hospitals and health systems. The topic will be front and center as the 2023 AHA Accelerating Health Equity Conference convenes tomorrow in Minneapolis.

This conference brings together professionals focused on improving community and population health and those working to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, including within hospital management and leadership roles. If you’re not attending in person, you can follow daily coverage this week in AHA Today and on social media.

Conference participants will choose from more than 30 breakout sessions that feature experts from across the field discussing building authentic and sustained community engagement and partnerships; understanding and meeting individual health and social needs; establishing systematic and shared accountability to build diverse leadership and governance; creating equitable and inclusive workplaces; and much more.

Leading the incredible group of keynote speakers this year is Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize winner and National Humanities Medal recipient. Wilkerson is author of The New York Times bestseller “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” and National Book Critics Circle Award winner “The Warmth of Other Suns.”

In addition, Ivor Horn, M.D., director of health equity and social determinants of health at Google, will discuss the landscape of technology in health care, including its promising possibilities and potential perils. Brian D. Smedley, among the inaugural class of equity scholars at the Urban Institute, will share concrete strategies for health care organizations in continuing to confront and address structural racism.

Advancing health equity must continue to be a top priority for hospitals and health systems for years to come. If you haven’t become familiar with AHA’s Health Equity Roadmap yet, I encourage you to learn more. The roadmap is a framework to help health care organizations chart their own paths toward transformation. Since the roadmap was launched in March 2022, more than 1,000 AHA members are using it.

We know that long-standing health care disparities and inequities persist. Working together and purposely, we can continue to develop better and more equitable solutions to address barriers that still exist — ensuring access to high-quality care and improving health and well-being for all individuals and communities.

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