Health Equity

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.

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.

Maturity Model

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