The MHA released its Pledge to Address Racism and Health Inequities Nov. 19. The pledge was endorsed by the MHA Board of Trustees at its Nov. 4 meeting and is intended for chief executive officers at MHA-member organizations to sign, indicating a unified commitment to addressing disparities, dismantling institutional racism and achieving health equity.
While efforts to deliver equitable care are not new for most health systems, increasing evidence suggests that racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pledge highlights the moral obligation of healthcare systems to equalize care, starting by identifying and addressing any racism that may exist within their organization. Further, the pledge recognizes the unique position of hospitals and health systems to address this issue and advance diversity, inclusion and equity efforts.
“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,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “By signing the pledge, members are ensuring that achieving health equity is a leadership-driven approach.”
An online video further explains the pledge and the health equity efforts of the association and the MHA Keystone Center.
The MHA and its members have long been committed to addressing health disparities to achieve equity for all populations. The association has hosted many events, including educational webinars on diversity, inclusion and cultural competency; a regional health equity learning session; a Twitter chat to spread awareness; and case example webinars for obtaining race, ethnicity and language data to drive improvement. Recordings and slides of these webinars are available on the MHA Community site.
In an additional effort to support hospitals on their journey to achieving health equity, the MHA Keystone Center recently released the new guide Eliminating Disparities to Advance Health Equity and Improve Quality. The document provides practical guidance for organizations seeking to assess and act on identified gaps so that deliberate action is taken to ensure that the outcomes are equitable across all patient populations.
The association has also been a longtime advocate of legislation to enhance these efforts with state and federal legislators to ensure a safe environment for both patients and healthcare professionals.
Together, these efforts aim to support, inform and inspire healthcare organizations as they work to eliminate disparities and institutional racism, ultimately improving patient care for all populations.