9 health systems sign on to advance health equity with IHI

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement Monday launched Pursuing Equity, a two-year initiative to reduce health and healthcare access inequities, with nine health systems spread across the nation signing on to participate.

The initiative aims to directly address things that contribute to health inequities, including institutional racism, and find ways health systems can have a positive effect on health equity through employee wellness and reducing clinical disparities at point of care.

Amy Reid, a director at IHI and lead of Pursuing Equity, said the healthcare industry has a large role to play in advancing equity. "Healthcare can make an impact by providing equitable, high-quality and high-value care, and also through its role as an employer and partner in the community," she said. "Through Pursuing Equity, we are thrilled to work with nine organizations that are already demonstrating what's possible when health equity becomes a strategic priority."

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The nine participating health systems are:

1. HealthPartners (Bloomington, Minn.)

2. Henry Ford Health System (Detroit)

3. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals (Oakland, Calif.)

4. Main Line Health (Newtown Square, Pa.)

5. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (Memphis, Tenn.)

6. Northwest Colorado Health (Steamboat Springs, Colo.)

7. Rush University Medical Center (Chicago)

8. Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, Brigham & Women's Hospital (Jamaica Plain, Mass.)

9. Vidant Health (Greenville, N.C.)

IHI has long been focused on health equity. For instance, the organization released a whitepaper in 2016 titled, "Achieving Health Equity: A Guide for Health Care Organizations," in which it laid out five recommendations to achieve health equity.

"We see a future where every healthcare system in the country pursues equity as part of daily work and core skills, ensuring that individuals and communities can attain their full health potential — and we believe Pursuing Equity is an important step in creating a blueprint for other organizations to follow," said Derek Feeley, IHI president and CEO. "Pursuing Equity is part of the next phase of IHI's ongoing commitment to address the unjust, costly, and persistent inequities in health and healthcare across the nation. We are energized and ready to continue this critical work."

Note: This article was updated to correct Kaiser's name from Kaiser Permanente to Kaiser Foundation.

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