2023 Accelerating Health Equity Post-event Playbook
2023 Accelerating Health Equity
The AHA Community Health Improvement (ACHI) network and the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE), both of the American Hospital Association, once again led the Accelerating Health Equity Conference, to facilitate the work of health care and community organizations working to close health equity gaps by building partnerships and developing and sustaining diversity and inclusion efforts across the field.
This year’s event brought together 900 front-line leaders (e.g., directors, VPs, SVPs) who are working in hospitals, health systems, public health and community-based organizations. Check out the full agenda.
Together on the Quest for Healthy Ecosystems
In May 2023, professionals focused on improving community and population health and building partnerships, and those striving to advance diversity and inclusion within hospital management and executive levels convened at the 3rd annual Accelerating Health Equity Conference.
As a first-time participant in this conference, I was struck by the energy within and among all of those who attended. The session presenters delivered clear, tactical advice; the keynote sessions provided inspiration and challenge; and the leaders from across the country who came together shared how they used this week to refocus and recharge.
Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive
American Hospital Association
It’s never been clearer that the only way to achieve health equity and eliminate disparities in all forms is to build strong ecosystems that foster health across the lifespan. Leaders of hospitals and health systems, public health departments and community-based organizations across the country are working to make change in their communities every day. It is our honor to provide a place for them to come together, recharge, learn from their peers and recommit to their vital work.
Nancy A. Myers
Vice President, Leadership and System Innovation
American Hospital Association
The Accelerating Health Equity Conference is AHA’s annual convening where health care leaders and community stakeholders come together to explore equitable solutions to improve health care access and outcomes. The plenaries, breakout sessions and pioneers panel were opportunities to share promising practices — and that is critical because there are lives attached to this work. The conference reenergized attendees around continued actions toward our shared goal of a more just and equitable health care ecosystem for all.
Joy A. Lewis
Senior Vice President, Health Equity Strategies, and Executive Director, Institute for Diversity and Health Equity
American Hospital Association
Strategies for Equitable Community Engagement Illustration 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Aligned Partnership Illustration 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Better Together Illustration 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Centering Community Voice Illustration 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Equity Heals Illustration 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Innovative Partnerships Illustration 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Breakout Session Speakers 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Closing Plenary Dr Brian Smedley 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Dr. Brian Smedley and Attendees 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Dr. Brian Smedley CHI Week Booth 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Opening Plenary Isabell Wilkerson 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Opening Plenary Q&A 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Plenary Session 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Plenary Speaker Ivor Horn 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Plenary Speaker Ivor Horn chair 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Attendees 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Book Signing 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Breakout Session 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Breakout Session Attendees 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Breakout Session Attendees 2 2023 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Isabel Wilkerson, author of The New York Times bestseller and critically acclaimed “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” and National Book Critics Circle Award Winner “The Warmth of Other Suns,” gave the opening keynote. Wilkerson brought the complexities of the past to vivid life through her passionate telling of her research and work on the history of racism. Wilkerson explained how racism has historically impacted the different facets of our society, including health care.
Ivor Horn, M.D., director of health equity and social determinants of health at Google, discussed the landscape of technology in health care — including its promising possibilities and potential perils — and how health care and health equity leaders can understand and challenge technology to support patients, employees and communities.
Brian Smedley, Ph.D., one of the editors of “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care,” spoke about the work that still needs to be done to advance equity in health care despite the progress that has been made on the recommendations made in the foundational report.
“The plenary speakers were powerful, and the breakout sessions were helpful in that they demonstrated how to put the social equity theory into practice.”
University of the Incarnate Word
“It was interesting to hear tangible examples of successful projects that addressed health equity. I also enjoyed individual conversations during breaks and meals, as we often dived into individual projects, approaches, and the gaps and issues within our organizations.”
“It was inclusive and comprehensive. I learned SO much. I also enjoyed the networking opportunities through it."
“The presentations were amazing. This was my first time coming and it exceeded my expectations and I left with the hope that we can help improve the system. Thank you.”
Cape Cod HealthCare, Inc
“Representation from a variety of organizations. Opportunity to network and gain insights from others.”
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center
“I feel like people are recharging, in fact if there’s one word I hear a lot here, it's 'recharge'. It’s really great to create a special place where people can share knowledge and be able to go back to their community energized and ready to go again.”
Closing Plenary Speaker
“I think there’s a real importance for us to be on the same page. To walk in sync with health equity, it’s a complex issue and it takes everyone's involvement and engagement to move the wheel forward.”
Rebuilding a New Minneapolis: From Tragedy to Transformation
Part 1: Hospital Leaders Speak Out
Three years following the murder of George Floyd, six Minneapolis hospital leaders sit down with the AHA to discuss how their organizations and the work they do to care for patients and communities were impacted during the summer of 2020. All attendees of the Accelerating Health Equity Conference are encouraged to watch this short film before coming to Minneapolis, as we hope to spur transformative conversations that ultimately help advance the health care field along the equity continuum.
Community Immersion Experiences
Community Immersion Experience participants had the chance to visit and learn about community-focused programs led by four Minneapolis hospitals and health systems.
Work comes to life for Allina Health patients and communities through the delivery of culturally responsive care.
A diverse workforce is vital to hospitals’ and health systems’ ability to provide culturally responsive care for community members.
- As an anchor organization, Allina showed how it works with local groups and leaders to become part of the community and hold itself accountable.
- Community health workers can help bridge cultures and, as care guides, serve as valuable resources when supporting clinical teams.
- Identifying appropriate spiritual care is important. Taking the necessary steps to include religious leaders in medical spaces leads to better collaboration and communication with patients and better outcomes.
Children’s Minnesota makes a real impact by focusing on health equity initiatives and partnerships with local community organizations to ensure resources are available where kids and families live, work and play.
- Families experiencing food insecurity have access to direct referral processes.
- Studying data trends and patterns allows staff to be better prepared and more proactive in serving the community.
- Relationships need to be maintained, even when platforms or tools are put in place. Nothing can replace face-to-face communication.
- Communication protocols between the various organizations that align to work with patients should be efficient and coordinated. There is value in designing consistent communication processes and rules for all entities involved.
M Health Fairview place-based partnership sites advance health equity in collaboration with community through a drop-in health and wellness center, transcultural nursing model, and the new Fairview Community Health and Wellness Hub.
- Organizations need to get buy-in and invest in equity to support communities and be successful in their work.
- Stratifying data helps understand the populations served and the specific barriers they face.
- Emphasizing the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives can help gain and sustain leadership buy-in.
- Culture navigators play a key role in resolving issues with patients from different backgrounds and non-English-speaking patients.
Hennepin Healthcare Systems focuses on health equity and anti-racism in their level 1 trauma center safety net hospital, Clinic and Specialty Care Building.
It’s important to acknowledge historic discrimination before seeking to earn a community’s trust or beginning to develop programming with stakeholders.
- Find a strong community and equity champion outside of the hospital. Social and community needs need to be dealt with by diverse teams.
- It takes time and trust to gain community buy-in and develop community champions.
- Clinical and community health programming can be aligned under an anchor organization model, which is a unified framework.
Key Takeaways from Breakout Sessions
Conference breakout sessions covered a wide variety of topics. Here are key takeaways offered in each session.
Building Authentic and Sustained Community Engagement and Partnership
Understanding and Meeting Individual Health and Social Needs
Establishing Systematic and Shared Accountability and Building Diverse Leadership and Governance
Creating Equitable and Inclusive Workplaces
Number of Attendees
AHA Resources to Advance Health Equity and Support Healthy Communities
A national initiative to drive improvement in health care outcomes, health equity, diversity and inclusion. The Health Equity Roadmap is a framework to help hospitals and health systems chart their own paths towards transformation – thus becoming more equitable and inclusive organizations.