Joint Commission, Kaiser name 1st recipient of new health equity award

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Worcester, Mass.-based UMass Memorial Health is the inaugural recipient of the Joint Commission and Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente's Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity. 

The annual award — created in memory of Bernard Tyson, Kaiser's late chair and CEO — recognizes healthcare organization interventions that lead to a measurable and sustained reduction in at least one healthcare disparity. 

UMass Memorial Health was recognized for an initiative that led to a 16 percent improvement in adherence to well-child visits among Black patients and a 12 percent improvement among Latino patients, according to a Nov. 2. news release. 

"Bernard J. Tyson embodied Kaiser Permanente's commitment to addressing the healthcare inequities that persist in the U.S. healthcare system," said Andrew Bindman, MD, Kaiser Permanente's executive vice president and CMO. "The work done at UMass Memorial Health to improve the health and well-being of young patients within the most vulnerable communities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when too many children have fallen behind on routine vaccinations and preventive care, is consistent with Bernard's vision." 

The Joint Commission and Kaiser announced the award's launch in March. 

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