Health Disparities

Addressing Disparities in Care to Achieve Health Equity

The MHA’s mission is to advance the health of all individuals and communities, and that mission has never been more critical than it is today. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the longstanding health disparities our communities face that must be addressed.

There is ample evidence of racism’s impact on health, and healthcare systems have a moral obligation to equalize care, starting first by identifying and addressing any racism that may exist within their organization. Additionally, healthcare leaders and hospitals can collaborate to combat systemic racism and disparities and work towards health equity for all Michiganders.

The MHA and MHA Keystone Center have long been committed to addressing health disparities, which is a foundational concept that shapes all the organization’s quality improvement and safety efforts. Below are resources to support healthcare organizations on their journey to advancing health equity.

HEG Cover

Video 1: A Call to Action

Video 2: How to Complete the Health Equity Organizational Assessment

Video 3: Utilizing the Health Equity Organizational Assessment

While efforts to deliver equitable care are not new for most health systems, our nation’s current state demands a more deliberate approach. Health equity and the commitment to diversity and inclusion in healthcare must be a leadership-driven priority that aligns with the organization’s mission and vision.

That is why the MHA Board of Trustees endorsed the language in the MHA Pledge to Address Racism and Health Inequities, committing to addressing systemic racism and health disparities that affect people of color and all marginalized populations in our communities. All MHA member chief executive officers are asked to sign this pledge, indicating a unified commitment to addressing disparities, dismantling institutional racism and achieving health equity.

The MHA Keystone Center recognizes the hospitals and health systems below for signing the pledge to address health disparities and systemic racism:

  • Ascension Borgess Allegan Hospital
  • Ascension Borgess Hospital
  • Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital
  • Ascension Borgess-Pipp Hospital
  • Ascension Brighton Center for Recovery
  • Ascension Genesys Hospital
  • Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital
  • Ascension Providence Hospital, Novi Campus
  • Ascension Providence Hospital, Southfield Campus
  • Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital
  • Ascension River District Hospital
  • Ascension Southeast Michigan Community Health
  • Ascension St. John Hospital
  • Ascension St. Joseph Hospital
  • Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital
  • Ascension Standish Hospital
  • Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics, Inc.
  • Aspirus Ironwood Hospital & Clinics, Inc.
  • Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital
  • Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital
  • Baraga County Memorial Hospital
  • Bronson Battle Creek Hospital
  • Bronson LakeView Hospital
  • Bronson Methodist Hospital
  • Bronson South Haven Hospital
  • Corewell Health East
  • Corewell Health Beaumont Grosse Pointe Hospital
  • Corewell Health Beaumont Troy Hospital
  • Corewell Health Dearborn Hospital
  • Corewell Health Farmington Hills Hospital
  • Corewell Health Taylor Hospital
  • Corewell Health Trenton Hospital
  • Corewell Health Wayne Hospital
  • Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital
  • Corewell Health South
  • Corewell Health Lakeland Hospital
  • Corewell Health Niles Hospital
  • Corewell Health Watervliet Hospital
  • Corewell Health West
  • Corewell Health Big Rapids Hospital
  • Corewell Health Blodgett Hospital
  • Corewell Health Butterworth Hospital
  • Corewell Health Gerber Hospital
  • Corewell Health Greenville Hospital
  • Corewell Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
  • Corewell Health Kelsey Hospital
  • Corewell Health Ludington Hospital
  • Corewell Health Pennock Hospital
  • Corewell Health Reed City Hospital
  • Corewell Health Zeeland Hospital
  • C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital
  • Covenant Healthcare
  • Deckerville Community Hospital
  • Dickinson County Healthcare System
  • DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan
  • DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center
  • DMC Harper/Hutzel Hospital
  • DMC Heart Hospital
  • DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital
  • DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan
  • DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital
  • Eaton Rapids Medical Center
  • Forest Health Medical Center
  • Garden City Hospital
  • Harbor Beach Community Hospital
  • Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
  • Helen Newberry Joy Hospital
  • Henry Ford Allegiance Health
  • Henry Ford Allegiance Specialty Hospital
  • Henry Ford Hospital
  • Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital
  • Henry Ford Macomb Hospital
  • Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
  • Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital
  • Hills & Dales General Hospital
  • Hillsdale Hospital
  • Hurley Medical Center
  • Lake Huron Medical Center
  • Mackinac Straits Health System, Inc.
  • Marlette Regional Hospital
  • Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
  • McKenzie Health System
  • McLaren Bay Region
  • McLaren Bay Special Care
  • McLaren Caro Region
  • McLaren Central Michigan
  • McLaren Flint
  • McLaren Greater Lansing
  • McLaren Lapeer Region
  • McLaren Macomb
  • McLaren Northern Michigan
  • McLaren Oakland
  • McLaren Port Huron
  • McLaren Thumb Region
  • Mercy Health Lakeshore Campus
  • Mercy Health Muskegon (Mercy & Hackley Campuses)
  • Mercy Health Saint Mary’s
  • Metro Health – University of Michigan Health
  • MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena
  • MidMichigan Medical Center – Clare
  • MidMichigan Medical Center – Gladwin
  • MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot
  • MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland
  • MidMichigan Medical Center – West Branch
  • Munising Memorial Hospital
  • Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital
  • Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital
  • Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital
  • Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital
  • Munson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital
  • Munson Healthcare Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital
  • Munson Medical Center
  • Oaklawn Hospital
  • OSF St. Francis Hospital and Medical Group
  • Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
  • ProMedica Charles & Virginia Hickman Hospital
  • Scheurer Hospital
  • Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital
  • Select Specialty Hospital – Ann Arbor
  • Sheridan Community Hospital
  • Sparrow Carson Hospital
  • Sparrow Clinton Hospital
  • Sparrow Eaton Hospital
  • Sparrow Hospital
  • Sparrow Hospital-St. Lawrence Campus
  • Sparrow Ionia Hospital
  • Sparrow Specialty Hospital
  • St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor
  • St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea
  • St. Joseph Mercy Livingston
  • St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
  • St. Mary Mercy Hospital
  • Three Rivers Health
  • Trinity Health Grand Haven Hospital
  • University of Michigan Hospitals & Health Centers
  • UP Health System – Bell
  • UP Health System – Marquette
  • UP Health System – Portage
  • War Memorial Hospital

The MHA Keystone Center developed a comprehensive guide, Eliminating Disparities to Advance Health Equity and Improve Quality, to assist your organization in addressing health disparities to achieve equitable care by providing key strategies, recommendations for action, implementation levels, and resources to support progress.

The MHA Keystone Center encourages organizations to use this guide to assess the current level of hospital implementation around key strategies aimed at reducing disparities, achieving equity and improving quality. The guide will assist organizations in prioritizing and acting on identified gaps, so deliberate and purposeful action is taken to ensure that the outcomes across all patient populations are equitable.

Leaders should ask themselves …

  • “How do I know if we have disparities, and how can I prevent disparities that exist in our patient outcomes?”
  •  “How can I create a culture and system that reduces disparities to improve quality, save lives and reduce cost?”

On the journey to eliminating disparities in care and promoting health equity, the critical first step for organizations is to assess their current activity around the seven categories, identified through national research, as critical components of an organization’s ability to identify and address disparities.

I. Data Collection II. Data Collection Training III. Data Validation IV. Data Stratification V. Communication of Findings VI. Addressing and Resolving Gaps in Care VII. Organizational Infrastructure and Culture

The Health Equity Organizational Assessment (HEOA), initially developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Partnership for Patients Health Equity Affinity Group, is designed to help the MHA Keystone Center understand hospitals’ health equity efforts, address potential gaps and disparities in care, and focus efforts and technical assistance.

The HEOA provides a detailed report with custom feedback to help your organization identify key priorities within the seven categories. Organizations that have completed the assessment are encouraged to continue tracking improvement. If your organization has not completed the assessment, you may do so by requesting access to KeyMetrics.

The following video is a tutorial for setting up an account with KeyMetrics and how to complete the Health Equity Organizational Assessment:

Additional resources are available to support your organization to eliminate disparities and advance health equity:

  • Pages 19 – 21 of the guide, Eliminating Disparities to Advance Health Equity and Improve Quality, contain a resource compendium that stratifies resources among the seven categories found in the HEOA.
  • The MHA Community site serves as a shared space for hospitals and members to access resources, connect with colleagues, as well as share information and ideas related to health disparities.
  • Information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Equity website.
  • The World Health Organization’s Social Determinants of Health website.

For more information, please contact the MHA Keystone Center.