AHA Recognizes Anne Arundel Medical Center With 2019 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award

WASHINGTON (June 4, 2019) – The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Institute for Diversity and Health Equity today announced that Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, Md., will receive the 2019 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care (EOC) Award. The award recognizes hospitals and health systems for their efforts to reduce health care inequities, and advance diversity and inclusion. In addition, Atrium Health, Charlotte, N.C.; Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Ill.; and Sutter Health, Sacramento, Calif., will be recognized as honorees. The award will be presented July 25 at the AHA’s Leadership Summit in San Diego.


The Equity of Care award has been renamed the Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award, in honor of the first African-American and the first hospital trustee to chair the AHA Board; a trustee of a safety net hospital, she was a tireless advocate for equity of care.


“Hospitals and health systems that participate in the Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award process demonstrate a commitment to improving health for all people. Their work is not only a moral imperative but it’s also the way in which hospitals will be positioned to succeed under population health and value-based care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “We thank Anne Arundel Medical Center and the Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care honorees for their innovative work to improve outcomes and advance health equity in the communities they serve.”


The Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care award is awarded annually and was created to recognize outstanding efforts among hospitals and health care systems to advance equity of care to all patients, and to spread lessons learned and progress toward achieving health equity. 


“Across the country, racial, ethnic and cultural inequities are everyday realities for far too many individuals, limiting their highest potential for health and hospitals and health systems are committed to closing the gaps,” said Duane Reynolds, IFDHE president and CEO and AHA vice president. “A focus on eliminating disparities is one way in which hospitals and health systems make a commitment to just and equitable care for their patients and communities.”

Anne Arundel Medical Center, the 2019 Carolyn Boone Lewis EOC Award winner, is being recognized for their efforts to provide equitable care and reduce health inequities. The Anne Arundel team created a health equity report that captured patient data to identify inequities and demographics. Led by clinicians, this data has resulted in the development of targeted action plans to improve patient outcomes across the health system. The team also focused on creating a more diverse and inclusive culture by having open, candid conversations about cultural differences and discussing ways to mitigate unconscious bias. These discussions led to diversity, equity and inclusion as a top priority in the organization’s 2019 operating plan, and the team’s strategic efforts have enhanced the organization’s candidate selection process.

Internally, the governing board has increased gender, age and race/ethnic diversity by 27 percent from 13 percent.


To address inequities, Anne Arundel partnered with a local senior apartment complex and opened a non-traditional primary care clinic within the resident center, providing care coordination for behavioral and social services. Since implementation, there has been a 17 percent reduction in hospital admissions and a 25 percent drop in readmissions over a four-year period.


Highlights of the Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award Honorees


Atrium Health – Charlotte, N.C.

At Atrium Health, the team created a Demographic Data Wall, an analytics platform that identifies inequities by race, ethnicity, gender and location. The scorecard arranges data such as unplanned readmissions and diabetes, and supports the delivery of culturally and linguistically appropriate services across the system. Atrium also developed a formal community health strategy that includes community leaders across its multi-sector service regions, focused on pediatric and adult obesity, mental health prevention and treatment, tobacco prevention and cessation, access to care, and social and economic impact.


Northwell Health – New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Northwell Health’s workforce is diverse with 50 percent of its staff from underrepresented groups. In addition, women represent 72 percent of Northwell’s workforce with 44 percent serving in executive roles. The team is also committed to internal and external education on the importance of collecting race, ethnic and language (REaL) data to improve patient outcomes and community care. With philanthropic support from JPMorgan, Northwell established a health care workforce development program that recruits and trains GED or high school graduates who are unemployed or under-employed and connects them with entry-level health care and social service positions.


Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, Ill.

In addition to capturing REaL data, Rush University Medical Center is implementing social determinants of health (SDoH) screenings across the system and community settings to identify risk factors including food insecurity, housing, instability and transportation. Rush is mitigating these SDoH through strategic partnerships that provide home food delivery services to older adults and community health for those in need of primary care. Through its LGBTQ Leadership Council, Rush has provided over 12 training sessions to students, staff and faculty on gender-affirming care. Rush is committed to increasing access to culturally competent LGBTQ services that includes hiring efforts for providers specializing in gender-affirmation services.


Sutter Health – Sacramento, Calif.

Nearly 56 percent of Sutter Health’s patients are racially or ethnically diverse and 10 percent do not speak English. Sutter’s collection of REaL data helps the team develop trainings that provide high-quality, culturally competent care to patients in their preferred language. Sutter has made steady progress in increasing diversity among its workforce with nearly 50 percent of its employees being ethnically diverse, and 20 percent of executive positons are ethnically diverse representing a 7 percent increase from 2014.  





Marie Johnson, (202) 626-2351, mjohnson@aha.org


About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the website at www.aha.org.