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IHI – WIHI Broadcast: Pursuing Health Equity with Curiosity: Notes from New Initiatives

Young Female Doctor Adults with Medical Staff at Home

Thursday, August 24, 2017, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT.

Pursuing Health Equity with Curiosity  Notes from New Initiatives​

  • Michael Hanak, MD, FAAFP, Associate Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Ambulatory Care & Assistant Professor, Family Medicine, Rush University Medical Center
  • Michelle Morse, MD, MPH, Founding Co-Director, Equal Health; Assistant Program Director, Brigham and Women's Internal Medicine Residency Program
  • Abigail Ortiz, MSW, MPH, Director of Community Health Programs, Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center
  • Amy Reid, MPH, Director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

While there are many ways to improve health equity, few recognize the importance of curiosity as part of this work. For instance, you may have a lot of solid data pointing to outcomes disparities in your health system by race, ethnicity, and other factors. But what's behind the numbers that may be contributing to health inequities in your specific patient population and community? Are there dynamics in play that no one's considered before? 

We're going to address these questions and more on the August 24 WIHI: Pursuing Health Equity with Curiosity — Notes from New Initiatives. We hope you'll tune in.

Our guests are from health system teams participating in IHI's two-year initiative known as Pursuing Equity​, which is focused on deepening and broadening work to improve health equity at the clinical, institutional, and community level. At Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, this means taking steps to uncover what's behind pronounced racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular outcomes and care. Rush's Dr. Michael Hanak says that, while important, collecting a lot of stratified data can only take you so far. Providers need to ask questions, to get curious, about the non-clinical issues and daily struggles in the community that act as barriers for patients.

Dr. Michelle Morse from Brigham and Women's Hospital, an academic medical center in Boston, and Abigail Ortiz from Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, a nearby community clinic, have teamed up to tackle health equity — and the complex relationship that exists between big teaching hospitals and surrounding low-income neighborhoods, including the local health center. It's no small feat when leaders from both institutions decide that in order to more effectively work together on health equity for patients, they need to first look at themselves to reduce power imbalances and institutional racism. Why is this a groundbreaking step? Our guests will explain.

IHI's Amy Reid, who leads the Pursuing Equity initiative, will describe how participating health systems are making health equity a strategic priority. This is one component of a framework laid out in a recent IHI White Paper​. Another component asks health systems to consider ways to impact the socioeconomic status of patients and the neighborhoods in which they reside.

What does health equity look like in your community and where you work? In what ways is your organization making health equity a strategic priority? We look forward to your being part of the discussion on the August 24 WIHI. 

Additional WIHI's Upcoming Broadcasts:

  • Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. ET – Tuning Up Health Systems Boards for Patient Safety
  • Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. ET – If you Believe in Burnout, Believe in Joy in Work

Registration information for upcoming WIHI broadcasts will be posted once available.