CEO Messages

Shining the Spotlight on Health Equity

While COVID-19 may have brought to light many health care inequities, they are nothing new. Disparate health outcomes for minorities, individuals experiencing homelessness, LGBTQ+, and other segments of California’s population have been documented for decades and reflect longstanding structural and systemic inequities that are rooted in racism and discrimination. Today, the disparities have risen to the level of a public health crisis in California, and your hospitals are on the front lines of addressing these inequities.

Every day in your communities, your hospitals see the impacts of these inequities — housing instability, lack of access to healthy foods, and community violence. And they work tirelessly to improve the experience and outcomes for everyone in their care.

But your hospitals cannot do this alone.

Earlier this year, Hospital Council and CHA boards committed to continuing to address internal and external health equity issues and doing all we can to help mitigate the decades-old inequities. And we are doing this, in part, by looking at all our issues, initiatives, and educational offerings through the health equity lens. 

At the upcoming Hospital Quality Institute (HQI) Annual Conference, taking place in Napa on Nov. 6-7, attendees will have the opportunity to join sessions in four different tracks, including health equity. The health equity track will examine why minority populations often experience disproportionately adverse patient outcomes. Presenters will explore how bias can affect outcomes and how to overcome language barriers and other obstacles. Sessions include Cherished Futures for Black Moms and Babies and No Safety Without Equity: Eliminating Errors in Diverse Populations

The Annual Conference is free and open to your full team. It also includes educational tracks on Patient Safety, Joy in Practice, and Data. The day will open with a keynote address by Marty Makary, MD, (Creating a Culture of Quality and Safety) and close with an inspiring and practical story from Steve Burrows, the writer/director/producer of the critically acclaimed HBO documentary “Bleed Out,” which details what happened when his mother went in for a routine partial hip replacement and came out in a coma with permanent brain damage. 

Health inequities lead to negative health outcomes and excess costs. And understanding disparities and choosing the right interventions are vital to achieving equity in the quality of care. Hospital Council, along with CHA and HQI, is committed to working toward reaching this goal.