Health Systems in North Carolina, Philadelphia Recognized as Honorees
WASHINGTON (July 7, 2022) — The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Institute for Diversity and Health Equity today announced that Mount Sinai Health System, in New York City, will receive the 2022 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care (EOC) Award. Novant Health, in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Thomas Jefferson University/Jefferson Health, in Philadelphia, will be recognized as honorees.
The Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award is an annual recognition of outstanding efforts among hospitals and health care systems to advance equity of care to all patients and to spread lessons learned and progress toward diversity, inclusion and health equity. Lewis was the first African American and first hospital trustee to chair the AHA Board.
Mount Sinai was selected as the 2022 Equity of Care Award winner for displaying leadership through its health equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. Most notably, their Road Map for Action is a framework detailing plans to drive change and eliminate health disparities and racism. Part of the framework includes recruiting and training Black and other underrepresented staff and faculty; partnerships to accelerate anti-racism and equity efforts within its health system; and a push for innovative approaches to address structural racism.
“The Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care award spotlights hospitals and health systems that are working outside their own four walls to reduce health disparities,” said Rick Pollack, AHA’s president and CEO. “This year’s honorees have used creativity to foster strong community partnerships, recruit individuals for their workforce from underrepresented groups and build trust and understanding with diverse populations.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mount Sinai expanded their outreach efforts to address COVID-19 related disparities by performing COVID-19 tests at more than 400 community events throughout New York City and administered over 8,000 vaccinations across Nassau County. To advance cultural humility and awareness, Mount Sinai built a robust diversity, equity and inclusion educational portfolio and included topics such as anti-racism, data and disparities, administrative talent pipeline and unconscious bias. In March 2021, they created and launched a two-part course titled “Creating a Brave Space for Conversations About Race,” as well as creating a committee to address anti-Asian bias and racism.
To expand on their health equity initiatives, Mount Sinai designed a data collection method to increase the collection and use of race, ethnicity and language preference data by establishing metrics and dashboards that assess health disparities. Further, they developed educational modules on the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity and preferred name and gender pronoun data for clinical and patient staff intake.
Highlights of the Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award Honorees
Novant Health, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Novant Health has advanced several equity initiatives related to COVID-19 vaccines, the health care workplace and the LGBTQ+ community. In 2021, Novant Health established an annual goal to ensure equity in administration of the COVID-19 vaccines. The goal was set at 25.3% to align with the demographics of historically underrepresented communities in North Carolina. With support from trusted community organizations like places of worship, schools and local businesses, they exceeded their goal with a rate of 31.6%. In 2020, the Novant Health Foundation established the Hope for Remarkable Team Aubergine Fund, where funds assisted team members experiencing COVID-19 financial hardships by providing food assistance, housing and bill payments. Approximately $13 million in gifts and funds from senior leadership, staff and community members served 13,000 team members.
Novant Health’s workforce equity approach includes a 10-week, paid internship for undergraduate students. Novant Health was also recognized as one of the "Best Places to Work for People with Disabilities" with a score of 100 on the Disability Equality Index by Disability:IN. In addition to this work, Novant Health created a campaign to increase trust and better understand LGBTQ+ patients and community members through data collection. This included asking patients to share sexual orientation and gender identity information at registration in the patient’s room or via MyChart.
Thomas Jefferson University/Jefferson Health, Philadelphia
Jefferson Health leadership has taken notable action to improve diversity and inclusion strategies in the communities they serve, including through recruitment and retention. Recruitment efforts include a focus on sponsoring high school students through the Cristo Rey Program and working more closely with college programs with diverse student bodies. Jefferson Health places a particular emphasis on improving the pipeline of leaders from a variety of backgrounds, starting at the supervisory level. As a result of their efforts, the number of executives from underrepresented groups that were hired increased from 20% in 2019 to 40% in 2021.
In 2017, Jefferson Health launched the Philadelphia Collaborative for Health Equity to address health equity in partnership with the community. Recently renamed and expanded, the Jefferson Collaborative for Health Equity focuses on health and wellness, building capacity within the community, health equity focused interventions, and collaborating broadly to address systemic issues like food access. In partnership with the Office of Institutional Advancement, the Collaborative received funding to support a number of initiatives focused on addressing the upstream drivers of stroke and cardiovascular disease, with a specific focus on five targeted high risk/underserved zip codes in the North and South regions of Philadelphia. In addition, its Catalyst Grant Program builds creative interventions to address issues of community health by connecting with residents, listening to and prioritizing their needs and building a common agenda. Initial projects are focused on mental health access, teen resilience, urban blight and home repair. Jefferson’s community health worker program is gearing up for expansion and will prepare these individuals for roles within the health system and beyond.
About the American Hospital Association
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA advocates on behalf of our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, our clinician partners – including more than 270,000 affiliated physicians, 2 million nurses and other caregivers – and the 43,000 health care leaders who belong to our professional membership groups. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides insight and education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.