American Hospital Association Equity of Care Award
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston received the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) inaugural Equity of Care Award for its efforts to reduce health care disparities and promote diversity within the organization’s leadership and staff. The award was presented on July 21 at the Health Forum-AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego.
The AHA Equity of Care Award was created to recognize outstanding efforts among hospitals and care systems to advance equity of care to all patients, and to spread lessons learned and progress toward achieving health equity. In 2011, the AHA joined four national health care organizations to issue a call to action to eliminate health care disparities by focusing on increasing the collection of race, ethnicity and language preference data; increasing cultural competency training; and increasing diversity in governance and leadership.
MGH has been a leader in the health care field on efforts to increase diversity and reduce disparities in care. MGH first established a system wide Committee on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in 2003 to focus internal attention on the challenge of disparities, improve the collection of race/ethnicity data, and implement quality improvement programs to reduce disparities. The Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) was established in 2005 in response to national and local calls to address disparities in health care. The Disparities Solution Center is an action-oriented center with a practical focus of moving the issue of disparities in health care beyond research and into the arenas of policy and practice. It serves as a national, regional and local resource for hospitals and other key health care stakeholders. The MGH Committee on Racial and Ethnic Disparities, in partnership with the DSC, has implemented programs that have improved outcomes and eliminated racial and ethnic disparities related to diabetes management, colorectal and breast cancer screening, patient experience, as well as quality and safety for patients with limited English proficiency.
In addition, MGH has is working to embed diversity in all aspects of its strategic plan; undertaken efforts to increase the diversity of its leadership and governance; and developed hospital-wide cultural competency standards as well as deployed a number of specific cultural competency education and training programs for physicians, nurses and front-line staff. MGH also funds and supports many initiatives to increase staff diversity including the Multicultural Affairs Office, several diversity fellowships, English for Speakers of Other Language courses, scholarship programs and various Employee Resource Groups such as the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners, the Office for Women’s Careers, the LGBT Committee and the Committee on Latino Initiatives.
“We are honored and humbled to receive this recognition from the AHA,” said Dr. Peter Slavin, President of Massachusetts General Hospital, “The Institute of Medicine Report Unequal Treatment demonstrated the importance of incorporating efforts focused on equity into a comprehensive quality management program. We have made some progress in identifying and addressing health care disparities at MGH. However, we feel like we have just scratched the surface of this important quality topic. This award will inspire us to intensify our efforts further.”
The Equity of Care Award will be presented annually by the AHA. Hospitals were required to complete an application describing their efforts to provide equitable care and had to participate in the Institute for Diversity in Health Management’s most recent benchmarking survey on diversity and disparities.
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The Healthcare Quality and Equity Action Forum
September 29th and 30th
Seaport Boston Hotel, Boston, MA
The June 2014 Forum was a great success with over 180 participants from across the country, so be sure not to miss the next Healthcare Quality and Equity Action Forum in 2016! The Forum serves as a dissemination and implementation conference developed and led by The Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), as well as alumni from the Disparities Leadership Program. Forum faculty consist of experts in the field, as well as those with real-world experience implementing equity strategies and solutions. The Forum targets leaders that are active in health care delivery and focus on quality improvement (including those from health plans, hospitals, and health centers across the country). It provides participants with the tools and skills to identify and address racial and ethnic disparities in health care within their organizations, with the goal of empowering them to implement these strategies and transform their organizations to focus on quality and equity.
For more information, and an overview of the 2014 Forum, visit our website
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