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Three Essential Hospitals to Receive Grants to Reduce CVD Care Disparities


WASHINGTON — Essential Hospitals Institute, in partnership with the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, will award grants to three essential hospitals to support their work to reduce disparities — made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic — in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The Institute, the research and education arm of America’s Essential Hospitals, will award grants to three association members: Grady Health System, in Atlanta; Harris Health System, in Houston; and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, in San Francisco. Over 12 months, the project will provide technical support to the grant recipients and collect data on how their innovations affect CVD patients in their communities.

“We are firm believers in the effectiveness of community-based programs in reducing CVD disparities and are pleased to support the work of these three essential hospitals in their innovative work,” said Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation President John Damonti. “We look forward to seeing the impact these programs will have on improving CVD care for underserved populations in Atlanta, Houston, and San Francisco and, if successful, the lessons that can be shared with other urban areas across the country.”

As a leader in promoting high-quality, accessible care and supporting the work of hospitals and health systems that fill a safety net role, America’s Essential Hospitals is dedicated to increasing equity in all aspects of patient care and reducing health disparities. The association’s members have significant experience with the consequences of CVD, providing almost half the nation’s stroke care while making up just 5 percent of U.S. hospitals.

“Communities of color have faced disproportionate hospitalizations and death during the pandemic and disparities in health care access, including among CVD patients at essential hospitals,” said Kalpana Ramiah, DrPH, MSc, Institute director and vice president of innovation for America’s Essential Hospitals. “The innovations advanced by these three programs promise to reduce those barriers and increase accessibility for patients from underrepresented populations.”

In addition to providing funding of up to $100,000 to each grant recipient, the Institute will provide technical assistance to the team leading each hospital’s innovations in care. Grant recipients aim to reduce CVD disparities through community engagement and integration, resource availability, service affordability, health worker capacity, and effectiveness, among other approaches.

“An ongoing commitment to equity in health care is a key part of our mission at America’s Essential Hospitals and the Institute,” said Parveen Chand, MHA, chief operating officer, Academic Health Center—Adult Hospitals at Indiana University Health, and chair of the Institute board of directors. “We know cardiovascular disease disproportionately impacts people of color and other marginalized populations across the country. So, combating disparities in diagnosis and treatment of CVD is an important part of our equity work.”

Ramiah said the project’s findings will aid the development of best practices for reducing disparities for CVD patients at hospitals nationwide. “Disseminating improvements in care is central to our work at the Institute, and this project will drive better care among our members and all hospitals,” she said.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

About Essential Hospitals Institute
Essential Hospitals Institute is the research, education, dissemination, and leadership development arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The Institute supports the nation’s essential hospitals as they provide high-quality, equitable, and affordable care to their communities. Working with members of America’s Essential Hospitals, we identify promising practices from the field, conduct research, disseminate innovative strategies, and help our members improve their organizational performance. We do all of this with an eye toward improving individual and population health, especially for vulnerable people.

Carl Graziano


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Dedicated staff at America's Essential Hospitals work together to produce high-quality, reliable content. Please view the about section for more details about staff.

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