Commitment to act for health equity

Commitment to act for health equity

Following the 2021 ABIM Foundation Forum – “Pursuing Trust: Striving for Equitable Health Care” – a group of health equity experts developed a prioritized list of actions and best practices that health care organizations should take to build trust and mitigate structural racism.

The group – clinicians, patients, and subject experts – worked together to distill (from the broad landscape of research, activity and recommendations focused on health equity) the crucial domains to build trustworthiness with historically marginalized populations. Joined by private and public payers, large employers, patient advocacy groups, and other influential organizations that have marketplace power to specify set of high-leverage, the authors developed specific actions to improve equity in health care:

  • Prioritizing racial and health equity by leadership/governance
  • Accountability to communities most impacted by racial and other health inequities
  • Measurement and reduction of racial and other health inequities
  • Expanding and ensuring access to high-quality, patient- and family-centered, whole person health care
  • Leveraging payment to achieve racial and health equity
  • Medical education and training
  • Centering racial and health equity in health services research

These are steps that organizations can take to lay the groundwork for meaningful progress toward broader health equity goals. They represent a clear list of specific, measurable actions and policies that organizational leaders, including boards and C-suite executives, should be called upon to implement as key to dismantling bias and discrimination in all its forms and counteracting structural racism. These actions are both possible and feasible for all health care organizations to undertake now – they are actions that organizations reasonably can be both supported and held accountable to implement.

A matter of trust: Commitment to act for health equity was published in January 2023 – authored by:

  • Ronald Wyatt, MD, MHA, Achieving Equity LLC
  • Leslie Tucker, Independent Consultant
  • Kedar Mate, MD, President & CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • Fred Cerise, MD, MPH, President & CEO, Parkland Health
  • Alicia Fernandez, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • Sachin Jain, MD, MBA, President & CEO, SCAN Health Plan
  • Ignatius Bau, JD, Independent Healthcare Policy Consultant
  • Daniel Wolfson, MHSA, Executive Vice President & COO, ABIM Foundation