Main Line Health is one of nine health care organizations across the U.S. selected to participate in Pursuing Equity, a two-year initiative of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to reduce inequities and outline a blueprint for how health care can advance equity. The initiative, supported by the Rx Foundation and Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, aims to reduce inequities in health and health care access, treatment, and outcomes by implementing comprehensive strategies to create and sustain equitable health systems. The nine health care organizations—diverse in size, geography, and patient populations served—will work with IHI and learn from one another.
“We are honored to be selected to participate in this important initiative of the IHI, as public health and the elimination of disparities in care is an important focus at Main Line Health,” said Barry Mann, MD, Main Line Health chief academic officer. “We have worked hard to establish programs, such as our annual Health Care Colloquium, that have far-reaching impact on people's health, the quality of care they receive and the systems that provide that care.”
The initiative hopes to break new ground by explicitly addressing institutional racism, and by identifying ways health care organizations can impact equity in areas like employee wellness and social determinants of health, in addition to reducing clinical disparities at the point of care. Amy Reid, a director at IHI and lead of the Pursuing Equity initiative, stated: “No one sector holds the entire answer to health and wellbeing, but we each have an important role to play in our own sphere of influence. Health care can make an impact by providing equitable, high-quality, and high-value care, and also through its role as an employer and partner in a community. 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.”
Making health equity a strategic priority is one of five key recommendations recently laid out in the IHI white paper, Achieving Health Equity: A Guide for Health Care Organizations. Other recommendations include developing structures and processes to support equity work, deploying scientific strategies to address the multiple determinants of health on which health care organizations can have a direct impact, decreasing institutional racism within the organization, and developing partnerships with community organizations. To achieve these goals, each of the nine organizations taking part in Pursuing Equity will build on foundational work in their health systems, including promising programs to reduce clinical disparities, the ability to track equity in process and outcomes data, and a high level of quality improvement knowledge and capability.
“We see a future where every health care 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,” Derek Feeley, IHI president and CEO, stated. “Pursuing Equity is part of the next phase of IHI’s ongoing commitment to address the unjust, costly, and persistent inequities in health and health care across the nation. We are energized and ready to continue this critical work.”
About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) strives for a future free of health inequities, and is committing its tools, talents, and team to this essential human pursuit. IHI aims to achieve health equity by working in collaboration with organizations, communities, and individuals to accelerate the elimination of inequities in health care access, treatment, and outcomes across our nation. More information and resources about Health Equity are available on IHI.org. IHI’s Pursuing Equity initiative is made possible through funding by the Rx Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and the participating health systems.
About the Rx Foundation
The Rx Foundation funds innovative projects and people to improve health care quality and access in the United States. The foundation supports early-stage initiatives with strong leadership and potential for out-sized impact.
About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases and conditions, by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease. For more information about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, please visit bms.com/foundation or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.