2015 Award Recipients

The AHA’s Equity of Care Award is presented annually to hospitals or care systems that are noteworthy leaders and examples to the field in the area of equitable care. Honorees demonstrate a high level of success in reducing health care disparities and promote diversity in leadership and staff within their organization.
The goals of this award are:

  • Recognize outstanding efforts among hospitals and care systems to advance equity of care;
  • Increase awareness of the National Call to Action to Eliminate Health Care Disparities and its stated goals and milestones to eliminate health care disparities; and
  • Spread lessons learned and progress toward health care equity and the promotion of diversity.

2015 Award Winner: Henry Ford Health System

Henry Ford Health System in Detroit collects demographic data from more than 90 percent of its patients and embeds that data into Equity Dashboards that are part of the overall quality and service metrics tracked by all business units to spur interventions in areas like diabetes outcomes among African American patients. HFHS uses cultural competency as an ongoing training for employees and clinicians to provide high-quality care. Using Employee Resource Groups, a Healthcare Equity Scholars Program and resident training, HFHS is continually evolving and improving its approach. HFHS also is dedicated to diversity through the use of a candidate pool that reflects set goals for minorities and women. Its efforts have been rewarded with a 57 percent increase in minorities in top leadership levels and a 44 percent increase in females in top leadership levels from 2009 to 2014.

2015 Award Winner: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital located in New Brunswick, N.J., is committed to addressing health inequities through its REAL Data Integrity LEAN Six Sigma Project. RWJ’s focus on clean-accurate data to identify opportunities for improved care has resulted in an increased use of interpreter services and an associated decrease in readmission, specifically heart failure, by 30 percent. In addition, RWJ looked at transitional care for low-income patients to close the gap between patients discharge and their follow-up visit to their primary care physician. RWJ’s efforts resulted in a reduction of its overall 30-day hospital readmission rate from 13 percent in 2013 to 5.2 percent in 2014. This type of organizational-wide focus is evidenced through its work on diversity and inclusion. Since 2012, RWJ increased leadership diversity from 4 percent to 32 percent minority representation. Board diversity also has increased from 17 percent in 2011 to 22 percent today.

2015 Award Honoree: AnMed Health

AnMed Health in in Anderson, S.C. was noted for its use of a disparities dashboard that provides access to reliable REAL data;  centralized language service solution; and the AnMed Health Differentiology Leadership Academy that has provided 80 percent of the leadership team a two-month learning experience to identify “diversity blind spots.”

2015 Award Honoree: Rush University Medical Center

Rush University Medical Center in Chicago was noted for its use of technology with a “disparities navigator” to examine different health outcomes among patients and target interventions. Rush also has a longstanding Language Interpreters Program with a documented improvement in care and have been pioneering in work through their ADA Task Force.

Read the press release here.

For more information contact equityaward@aha.org