11 strategies to 'root out racism,' per Mount Sinai diversity leaders 

New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System is on a mission to systematically address racism with real-time action instead of lip service. The health system's Road Map for Action to Address Racism committee provided an update on its efforts to "root out racism" in a paper published June 5 in Academic Medicine.

"Our ultimate charge is to root out racism to better serve our diverse communities," Gary Butts, MD, executive vice president and chief of diversity, equity and inclusion for the system, and co-author of the paper, said in a June 7 Mount Sinai news release. 

"To achieve this, we will need to address structural racism across our system, a challenge for most U.S. health systems and medical schools. An important part of the work includes a focus on equity in care delivery as well as greater workforce diversity in our faculty and among our leadership," he said.

The Mount Sinai Health System Task Force to Address Racism launched in 2020 during the height of COVID-19, public outcry over the death of George Floyd and the increased attention on the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Collaborators on its main initiative, the road map, began their work in the spring of 2021. The road map team includes representatives from across the Mount Sinai community, including front-line staff, hospital presidents, board members and deans, and represents the "rich racial, ethnic and gender diversity" of the system, the new release said.

Progress on the road map, which is meant to attack the equity challenges in three domains — employees, patients and Mount Sinai's diverse communities — includes the development of 11 strategies. 

These strategies focus on several areas, including healthcare delivery, community engagement, learning and engagement, organizational and institutional needs and finance and business. 

Another important area also covered by the roadmap is measurement. The development of a "shared measurement system to evaluate progress" is a point the group is still grappling with, the release said.   

"After substantial research and planning, we are finalizing the selection of metrics and methods for data collection, but measuring structural racism is a complex and emerging science," said task force member Lynne Richardson, MD, professor of emergency medicine and healthy equity science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Read about the Road Map for Action to Address Racism and the 11 initiatives Mount Sinai leaders believe will be helpful in meeting diversity goals.

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