Implicit Bias Trainings Available to Meet LARA Requirement

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) revised Public Health Code Rules requiring implicit bias training for all professions licensed or registered under the Public Health Code took effect in June. Implicit Bias trainings are still available for those needing to meet the requirement.

The Office for Health Equity and Inclusion at Michigan Medicine is hosting a 1-hour, live virtual course called Building Toward Belonging: Implicit Bias Training (LARA Compliant) for $150 per participant. The following groups qualify for a $50 per person discount:

  • University of Michigan alumni and retirees.
  • Non-profit workers.
  • K-12 workers.
  • Groups of 10+ (must be registered together).

Those who fall within one of the above categories can contact the team to request a promo code. For teams of 50 or more, a request can be made at least 6-8 weeks in advance for scheduling a virtual session outside of the posted dates.

The Michigan Health Council is also offering implicit bias trainings in two formats, hybrid or live guest lecture, over the next several months. In a hybrid delivery model, learners will watch a one-hour video on demand and attend a one-hour webinar to engage in a robust discussion and group exercises. Registration for this training is available for $50 per person.

With a guest presentation, organizations can offer the training to staff onsite at their convenience. The presentation will include an introduction to implicit bias followed by targeted exercises, discussion and evaluation questions. Members may contact Kristin Sewell for pricing and availability.

MHA Issues Statement on the Tragic Death of Patrick Lyoya

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

The video footage released today of the tragic shooting death of Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids is jarring and incredibly disturbing. Almost two years ago, our nation witnessed the murder of George Floyd, which exposed for our entire country the racial injustices that exist in our communities. What happened April 4 in one of Michigan’s neighborhoods to Patrick Lyoya is unacceptable and shows that our state has so much more to accomplish to address systemic racism.

We express our deepest condolences to the family of Patrick Lyoya, those mourning his loss and all individuals who share these feelings of fear and anger at another Black community member losing their life unnecessarily.

Hospitals are a welcoming place of care for all those who need our services. The mission of the MHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities, and that mission is inclusive of every race, ethnicity and nationality. What happened to Patrick Lyoya is not acceptable; we stand with all our patients, their loved ones, our communities and our employees as we come to terms with Patrick’s unnecessary death.

Hospitals throughout our state will reflect on this tragedy as a time to come together and share peaceful expressions of our hurt and anguish. Following Mr. Floyd’s tragic death, MHA member hospital and health system chief executive officers signed a pledge expressing a unified commitment to address racial disparities, dismantle institutional racism and achieve health equity. We promise our efforts will not stop until we have achieved those goals.

Workplace Safety and Minority Health Recognized in April

National organizations are recognizing April as Workplace Violence Awareness Month and Minority Health Month, each of which are key priorities for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. The Alliance Against Workplace Violence is leading efforts for Workplace Violence Awareness Month while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health is promoting Minority Health Month.

MHA CEO Brian Peters
MHA CEO Brian Peters

“The mission of the MHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “Ensuring the safety of our healthcare workers and improving efforts to address health equity, diversity and inclusion fulfills our mission and is critical to every Michigan hospital and community.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare sector had the highest distribution of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the private sector in 2020, while OSHA data indicates healthcare workers are nearly four times more likely on average to experience violence than individuals in other industries.

Improving workplace safety in hospitals has been the focus of the MHA, the MHA Keystone Center and Michigan hospitals since the MHA Workplace Safety Collaborative was launched in 2019 with the goal to reduce injuries and increase safety awareness through educational events, webinar series and insights from subject matter experts.

With reported rates of violence against healthcare workers increasing during surges of COVID-19 hospitalizations, the MHA has actively advocated for House Bill 5682. This legislation would double the fines for assaulting a healthcare employee or volunteer in any healthcare setting. To help increase awareness of protecting healthcare workers, the MHA has developed and provided to MHA members free of charge workplace violence posters.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is another key component of the activities of the MHA Keystone Center. The MHA Board of Trustees endorsed in 2020 the Address Racism and Health Inequities pledge, which has since been embraced by all MHA member hospitals and hospital systems. The pledge expresses the need for hospitals to commit to addressing disparities, dismantling institutional racism and achieving health equity. The MHA Keystone Center also released the Eliminating Disparities to Advance Health Equity and Improve Quality guide, which is to be used by hospitals to assess strategies aimed at reducing disparities, achieving equity and improving quality.

“I am very proud of the work the MHA Keystone Center has made on both workplace safety and diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Sarah Scranton, MPA, MPP, vice president, safety and quality, MHA, and executive director, MHA Keystone Center. “The safety of caregivers and addressing health disparities can significantly impact the quality and safety of care delivered inside a hospital.”

Health equity is achieved when all members of society enjoy a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social determinants of health contribute to racial and ethnic minority groups having disproportionate health outcomes and include neighborhood and physical environment, health and healthcare, occupation and job conditions, income and wealth, and education. The MHA and the 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.

More information about the MHA’s efforts and resources on workplace safety and health equity can be found at

MHA Monday Report Feb. 7, 2022

MHA Monday Report

MHA Covid-19 updateCombating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Jan. 31

The number of hospitalizations in Michigan due to confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 was the lowest since early November during the week of Jan. 31. However, with 2,882 adults and 70 children hospitalized Feb. 4 with confirmed and suspected COVID-19, some facilities in the state continue to be …

Medicare to Cover Over-the-counter COVID-19 Tests for Beneficiaries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is developing an initiative that will provide free access to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per month for Medicare beneficiaries. The initiative will apply to individuals enrolled in both traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. The new initiative …

Virtual Breakthrough

MHA Breakthrough Converting to Virtual Format

The MHA had hoped for an in-person Breakthrough event Feb. 17 and 18 but, based on the current environment, the event will be offered in a virtual format from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 17 on the Zoom platform. …

Webinar to Outline Housing Options to Improve Population Health

Access to affordable, safe, stable housing is well documented as a strong factor in health. The critical shortage of affordable housing directly affects communities and patients, contributing to repeat emergency room visits and hospital admissions. These patients also tend to have limited resources for …

Ludwig Community Benefit Award Nominations Due Feb. 18

The 2021 winners of the MHA’s Ludwig Community Benefit Award showcase the wide range of programs Michigan hospitals provide to benefit those in their local areas and beyond. The award is presented annually to recognize MHA-member healthcare organizations that demonstrate …

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEOMHA CEO Report The Time is Now for Health Equity

MHA CEO Brian Peters reviews efforts to eliminate unconscious bias and to address the social determinants of health.

Webinar to Cover Changes in Digital Marketing for Healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic and the rapidly changing competitive environment are making the consumer digital experience a higher priority for healthcare marketers than ever before. With budgets rebounding and marketers accelerating efforts in personalization, healthcare marketers must invest in new …

The Keckley Report

Paul Keckley

The Resilience of the Health System: Not Enough

“The healthcare industry is resilient—’the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.’ It responds well to immediate problems like the pandemic and health emergencies. It enjoys well-deserved accolades for its selfless workforce and acts of heroism.  But long-term solutions to the widely recognized systemic flaws in our system escape its attention …”

Paul Keckley, Jan. 31, 2022

News to Know

  • Due to weather-related cancellations, the Michigan Legislature did not meet Feb. 2 and 3 and no action was taken on healthcare-related bills.
  • Myers and Stauffer LC, Michigan’s contractor for the federally mandated Medicaid disproportionate share hospital  audits, will host an educational webinar at 10:30 a.m. EST Feb. 15 to assist members with the upcoming 2019 Medicaid DSH audits.
  • As part of a series from the MHA Endorsed Business Partner program, the webinar Manufacturer Mandates and Claims Capture will be hosted with SUNRx from 2 to 3 p.m. EST Feb. 15.

The MHA responded to several media requests the week of Jan. 31 that focused on the history of hospital mergers and acquisitions in Michigan and the current outlook for hospitals regarding COVID-19.

MHA CEO Report — The Time is Now for Health Equity

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEO

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEOThe past two years have sharpened the focus on several aspects of healthcare, none more so than efforts to achieve health equity throughout our communities and to improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within our healthcare organizations and communities. February is Black History Month, which makes it a perfect time to reflect on the areas where we, as healthcare leaders, can do better to promote the elimination of unconscious bias and to address the social determinants of health such as access to transportation, housing and healthy food, while also expanding our DEI efforts.

There is no question that COVID-19 and the momentum behind social justice reform in 2020 served as a force multiplier for many in this arena. The data is clear that, throughout the pandemic, minorities have suffered worse health outcomes from COVID-19, and we need to fully understand the reasons why.

I’m proud to say that the MHA Keystone Center, our association’s safety and quality organization, has already become deeply engaged in this space. Our efforts to date have included the release of the Eliminating Disparities to Advance Health Equity and Improve Quality guide and the MHA Board of Trustees pledge to Address Racism and Health Inequities, which includes a commitment to listen, to act and to lead. This pledge has since been universally embraced by our member hospitals throughout the state, which sets us on a positive path forward. As I have pointed out many times in the past, because hospitals are often the largest employer in their respective communities, we have an extraordinary opportunity to lead by example in all that we do.

Moving forward into 2022, our member hospitals will soon need to ensure compliance with a new state law, fully supported by the MHA, that requires unconscious bias training for all clinicians. Many of our hospitals were providing this sort of training well before the passage of this legislation, and we are eager to continue this work.

As with so many other issues, we are also very fortunate to have strong partners in the American Hospital Association (AHA), in this case with its Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE) that offers a wide range of resources and initiatives to pursue health equity from a variety of areas. Together, the AHA and the IFDHE are helping to increase leadership opportunities for ethnic minorities, as they have historically been underrepresented in healthcare management.

We have come a long way in recent years, as we now have an organized, orchestrated effort within our hospitals and health systems to address these important issues. Today, positions and departments have been created, including C-suite leadership roles, that have influence on the actions both inside the hospital and outside with community partners. Just as this is an all-hands-on-deck effort throughout the care continuum, the same holds true with community partners in addressing the many vexing issues that contribute to poor health outcomes. The fact that we have leadership in place to guide this process is a testament to the commitment of our member CEOs and is an encouraging development for further things to come.

We also have a strong culture of shared learning in our state, and the willingness of hospitals and health systems to collect and share data (including race, ethnicity and language, or REAL, data) and best practices is encouraging and impactful. Despite our progress, we still have a long way to go, and I encourage any leader or organization that has not done so already to join the MHA on this journey. For too long our hospitals have treated the end results of years of health disparities, and the time is now for us to be leaders in driving change.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

MHA Breakthrough Discounts on Registration, Hotel Rates Expire Soon

Virtual Breakthrough

The MHA’s major membership meeting Breakthrough will be held Feb. 17 and 18 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. The early registration discount will expire Jan. 28 and the discounted room rate at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa will expire Jan. 26.Virtual Breakthrough

Due to the pandemic, hospital and health system leaders have not gathered in person at an MHA major membership meeting in two years, significantly reducing the ability for leaders to openly discuss significant challenges with colleagues. To create a safe meeting for everyone, the MHA has developed a code of conduct, including COVID-19 vaccination verification. The vaccination verification process and other safety measures are detailed online under the Code of Conduct policy.

Register now for Breakthrough, where attendees will examine the evolution of the pandemic and its impact, how MHA members and partners can address the workforce shortage and drive policy and funding on this critical issue, how to lead critical conversations about health equity and use structures already in place to build capacity for advancing equity, and more. A preconference session features tactics to optimize the CEO-board relationship by exploring the primary roles and responsibilities and the attributes and actions credited to a high-functioning governing board.

A full agenda, additional details and sponsors are posted online. Contact Erin Steward at the MHA with questions about Breakthrough.

Explore Ways to Advance Health Equity, Workforce and Resilience at Breakthrough

Virtual Breakthrough

MHA Breakthrough, which will be held in-person Feb. 17 and 18 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa near Traverse City, provides a venue for crucial conversations about the healthcare crisis and ways providers can lead recovery using information, tools and shared ideas and best practices. Attendees will examine the evolution of the pandemic and its impact, including lessons learned around treatment and staffing, patient and family expectations, and burnout and resilience; how MHA members and partners can address the workforce shortage and drive policy and funding on this critical issue; and how to lead critical conversations about health equity and use structures already in place to build capacity for advancing equity.

A preconference session will feature tactics to optimize the CEO-board relationship by exploring the primary roles and responsibilities and the attributes and actions credited to a high-functioning governing board. The session includes an assessment and improvement activity that can be adopted or modified for use in participants’ organizations as part of an ongoing effort to strengthen CEO-board dynamics.

Breakthrough will be held in-person, and COVID-19 vaccination will be required. The vaccination verification process is detailed online under the Code of Conduct Policy. Registration is open, and a full agenda, additional details and sponsors are posted online. Contact Erin Steward at the MHA with questions about Breakthrough.

Discuss Approaches to Pandemic, Workforce Challenges at MHA Breakthrough

Virtual Breakthrough

Virtual Breakthrough

In a recent video message, MHA CEO Brian Peters shared his thoughts about the MHA’s commitment to helping hospitals and health systems deal with the effects of the pandemic and the value of convening in person to study challenges, learn from each other and build a greater capacity to evolve.

During MHA Breakthrough, scheduled for Feb. 17 and 18 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, attendees will openly discuss several topics, including significant and radical changes in healthcare driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders will discuss and share how to care for staff who have been heavily impacted by patient deaths, tactics to re-engage patients’ family and relationships essential to decreasing hostility and improving patient outcomes, and how to drive the message that public health is more than infectious diseases so that state and community leaders recognize why their commitment is critical to solving health challenges.

Breakthrough also focuses on health equity and the disparities resulting from unconscious bias and racism, as well as how to engage managers and teams in every step of the diversity, equity and inclusion journey. Breakthrough speaker Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, PhD, is one of the most impactful individuals working to eliminate racial disparities in America. At this event, he will share how to practice equity, reduce disparities and lead critical conversations about health equity. Beth Washington, vice president of Community Health, Equity, and Inclusion at Bronson Healthcare Group, will share how the system is using structures already in place to build capacity for advancing equity.

Breakthrough will be in-person and vaccination will be required. Details surrounding the vaccination verification process will be available soon. Registration is open, a full agenda is online and sponsorship is available through Jan. 12. For more information, contact Erin Steward at the MHA.

Upcoming Webinar to Improve Healthcare for Transgender Population

Transgender and gender nonconforming individuals deal with many common fears that can be debilitating. Healthcare providers need to understand the obstacles that this population faces to improve medical care for their patients. The MHA Health Foundation Transgender Healthcare Dignity Model and Certification webinar will assist providers in their awareness of these issues by reviewing:

  • The differences between gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, sexual orientation and romantic orientation.
  • Understanding personal bias and perception of the differences between gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and sexual and romantic orientation.
  • Benefits and examples of providing options for patients in the areas of gender identification, preferred name, legal name and preferred pronouns.
  • The differences between the social and medical transition process.
  • How providers can make changes to reduce fears of the transgender patient in a medical setting.

The webinar is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 9, and MHA members can join for a single connection fee of $395. MHA members can include up to five participants from the same organization for a connection fee of $1,900. Members should contact Erica Leyko at the MHA to register.

By participating in the Transgender Healthcare Dignity Model and Certification webinar, participants may earn up to 4.0 ACHE Qualified Education Hours toward initial certification or recertification of the Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) designation.

MHA CEO Report — Our Strategic Action Plan

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEO

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

— Dalai Lama XIV

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEO

At the beginning of every MHA program year (which officially kicks off every July 1), in close consultation with our MHA Board Chair and Board of Trustees, we develop a “strategic action plan” that serves as a road map for our important efforts over the coming 12 months. While the process involved in crafting the 2021-2022 plan was very similar to prior years, the environment was anything but.

One thing every Michigander surely has in common: we are all eager to see a significant decline in COVID-19-related positivity rates, hospitalizations, morbidity and mortality, and the unprecedented disruption brought about by the pandemic. Every day, we closely examine the data and – equally important – the real-time stories from the administrative leaders and clinicians in our member hospitals and health systems throughout the state. As I write this report, we unfortunately remain mired in a pandemic that simply will not fully release its grip. Hospital beds are filling up with both COVID-19 patients (over 2,000 as of today) as well as patients who likely delayed seeking treatment for a range of other, non-COVID-19 issues. Supply chain issues persist, and clinical and nonclinical staffing challenges are as severe as ever. Any notion that we are out of the woods is misguided; we must remain as vigilant as when the pandemic began.

Against that backdrop, our action plan has been designed with our association mission in mind: we advance the health of individuals and communities. The following synopsis represents just a few highlights:

  • Policy and Advocacy: Our hospitals and their front-line caregivers need fair and adequate funding support now more than ever. Our priorities here include full funding for the Healthy Michigan Plan (our Medicaid expansion plan which now covers over 950,000 Michiganders), pools that protect access in rural communities and obstetrical care, graduate medical education, and the preservation of our robust provider tax program and Medicaid payment rates. We successfully achieved all of these objectives in the budget that just began Oct. 1; in addition, the budget includes new special appropriations specific to hospitals, including $3 million to fund the stroke/STEMI system of care to mirror the trauma system; ensured a continuation of the direct care worker increase at long-term care facilities to $2.35/hour; raised ground ambulance service reimbursement to the highest possible rate, valued at $54 million; and extended funding for 12 months of Medicaid coverage postpartum to improve maternal and infant health. As soon as one budget is finalized, the planning and negotiations begin for the next – and we are already gearing up to do right by our members and the patients they serve.
  • Workforce Sustainability: We must find ways to remove unnecessary barriers that prevent the recruitment and education of qualified individuals, and we must provide our healthcare workforce with the critical assistance they need to continue caring for and supporting our communities. In the short term, the MHA has formed both a Human Resources Council and a Human Resources Subcommittee of the MHA Service Corporation Board of Directors to convene leaders in the field to closely monitor the staffing crisis and provide guidance on our emerging efforts. This is an “all-hands-on-deck” affair for the association and will be on the agendas of every MHA council, committee and task force this year. In the days and weeks ahead, you will hear more about our very specific request related to healthcare workforce sustainability in the state budget supplemental process – just one aspect of a multiprong strategy that will also include regulatory flexibility, a renewed push to join the multistate nurse licensure compact, immigration policies, expanding scope of practice, virtual health, and addressing workplace violence and burnout.
  • COVID-19: The MHA will also continue to respond to immediate COVID-19 issues, which includes continuing to promote the effectiveness and safety of vaccines. Our vaccine focus areas will also move toward third doses and boosters, childhood vaccination for those ages 5-11, federal mandates for employers and healthcare providers, and flu vaccines. The MHA will also continue to work closely with the American Hospital Association on ensuring the federal mandates provide consistency between the upcoming Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules on how the federal mandates will be enforced for hospitals.
  • Behavioral Health: The MHA has already requested $125 million to expand inpatient pediatric capacity and improve psychiatric services in the emergency department, where far too many patients have been treated due to a lack of suitable alternative psychiatric care settings and providers. We are engaging in the public policy process to make sure that those Michiganders in desperate need of behavioral health services will ultimately have access to compassionate, high-quality care.
  • Health Equity: I am proud that all Michigan hospitals and health systems have signed on to our Board-approved pledge to address racism and health inequities. Through information gained from the Health Equity Organizational Assessment (completed by 113 hospitals to date), we will now identify and implement meaningful and actionable steps to address gaps and disparities in care to support the unique needs of individuals and local communities, particularly those that are underserved.

Other important priorities in this year’s action plan include the preservation of a robust certificate of need program, prevention of harmful nurse staffing ratio legislation, development of new data collection and analysis opportunities, safety and quality improvement, physician integration and cybersecurity.

To successfully achieve all the action plan priorities – as well as effectively respond to the “wild-card” events that inevitably occur during the program year – will require all arms of our organization: our traditional trade association, our 501(c)(3) MHA Health Foundation and MHA Keystone Center, and our for-profit MHA Service Corporation and Endorsed Business Partners.  We are fortunate to have such a strong platform from which to launch our current and future efforts.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has been the biggest disruptor in my professional career. In an ecosystem that was already becoming more integrated, value-driven and transparent, the pandemic exposed all the inherent weaknesses within American healthcare delivery. Yet, throughout the past 20 months, the MHA staff and members have demonstrated our resolve and resiliency. As a result, I have full confidence that at the conclusion of this program year, we will be able to demonstrate strong success on our strategic action plan objectives and, accordingly, will have positioned hospitals to improve the health and wellness of their communities. And we will do so with love and compassion.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.