FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – In a major new initiative, America’s Essential Hospitals and its research arm, Essential Hospitals Institute, will develop tools hospitals can use to recruit health equity leaders, develop equity teams, and build a diverse workforce through hiring and promotion.
The project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, dovetails with work at America’s Essential Hospitals to combat structural racism. It also will contribute to the association’s response to the ongoing hospital workforce crisis.
“We cannot solve the workforce crisis without putting equity and inclusion front and center, and, in many ways, the reverse is true,” association President and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, says. “This toolkit will help essential hospitals build a workforce that reflects their communities and shares the experience of patients harmed by structural and systemic inequities, which leads to better care and better outcomes.”
In that context, the toolkit will take an intersectional approach to health justice by considering the multiple axes of inequities. Diverse executives who have the lived experience of structural inequities will be key to successful equity work, says Kalpana Ramiah, DrPH, MSc, the Institute’s director and vice president of innovation for America’s Essential Hospitals.
“Dedicated equity leaders will be crucial as hospitals address workforce shortages and employee burnout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she says. “Their unique perspective on recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion will lead to a stronger, workforce for the next challenge.”
Among other features, the toolkit will provide guidance on ways to build a resilient and diverse workforce through policy changes in recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion; and examples of how essential hospitals have redesigned their infrastructure to bolster workforce diversity and equity. The toolkit, which the Institute expects to publish this fall, addresses other relevant topics, such as eliminating biases during the hiring and interview process, ensuring an equitable power distribution among employees, and implementing shared governance structures for community-based initiatives.
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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals dedicated to equitable, high-quality care for all, including those who face social and financial barriers to care. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has advanced policies and programs that promote health, health care access, and equity. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, education, and leadership development. Communities depend on essential hospitals for care across the continuum, health care workforce training, research, public health and health equity, and other services. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead all of health care toward better outcomes and value.
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.