It’s Time to Move the Needle Toward Health Equity and Social Justice
Addressing health disparities should be a mission-critical strategy for all healthcare organizations.
"If you are Black, your access to high-quality healthcare and your health outcomes are worse than if you are white. Full stop."
—LaTonya O’Neal, Principal
Leading While Black: Addressing Social Justice and Health Disparities
Decades of research provides ample evidence of the worsening problem of health disparities in the United States. What will it take for healthcare organizations to promote social justice and reduce health disparities in the communities they serve? This report highlights what healthcare organizations can do to work toward eliminating these disparities.
Data & Analysis
in the C-Suite
This original analysis examined the representation on leadership teams for 100 leading U.S. hospitals, capturing organizations on the U.S. News Honor Roll, 100 Great Hospitals list, and community-based and critical access hospitals.
Health Equity Maturity Model for Healthcare Organizations
The goal of reducing disparities in access, quality, and outcomes has become a banner for most leading healthcare organizations. But we still have a long way to go before the necessary means of achieving that goal have become part of the fabric of healthcare organizations’ mindsets, cultures, and activities.
Success depends on a full commitment to understanding the causes of health disparities and investing in effective solutions to eliminate them. Identifying those solutions also requires healthcare organizations to assess how they can take effective actions across their core roles in the community.
Beyond their most obvious role as providers of healthcare services, healthcare organizations also are major employers, key members of their communities, and influential purchasers of services. When developing strategies and plans for how they will effect change, healthcare leaders must apply a holistic lens and also look beyond the walls of their facilities to determine how they will address health needs in the community, including the social determinants of health.
This assessment tool can help healthcare organizations better understand their current level of commitment to addressing health disparities and promoting social justice. While not exhaustive, the five key dimensions included in this assessment can shine light on where organizations can make material progress toward achieving a more equitable and socially just world for the communities they serve.
How can healthcare organizations flip the script on health disparities in their communities? These leaders are moving the needle with more personal programs that are achieving greater outcomes.
Health system leaders from across the country share meaningful steps they’re taking to address long-standing health disparities that came into sharper focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of their recommendations are immediate and concrete actions. Others will take longer. Each is impactful toward enabling health equity.
Rural Communities at Risk: Widening Health Disparities and Socioeconomic Factors
Our analysis suggests that the socioeconomic disadvantages and health disparities dividing rural and urban communities may be widening. Particularly alarming are gaps in disparity measures between rural communities and those in which a rural hospital is vulnerable to closure.