All Marylanders deserve an equal opportunity to achieve optimal health — regardless of social, economic, or demographic differences. Though we all share this goal, health disparities persist stubbornly.
As your hospitals work to address social needs of individual patients and social challenges in your communities, it’s clear that access to better housing, food and transportation is crucial to people’s ability to become healthier. It helps that the Maryland Model has incentives, both explicit and tacit, to improve population health and to fix the problems that lead to disparities. But the hospital field cannot do this alone.
Your Maryland Hospital Association’s strategic plan promotes health equity. Last month, our Executive Committee approved the formation of two member-driven groups to guide our work: Health Equity Task Force, to address social determinants of health, and Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, to focus on hospital and health system workforce diversity and inclusion.
Active participation on these groups will advance health equity by:
- Supporting hospitals in addressing social influencers of health and reducing disparities in health outcomes.
- Influencing public policy development across all domains that can affect health outcomes.
- Bolstering workforce diversity, inclusion, and advancement opportunities for underrepresented groups in Maryland’s hospitals and health systems – not just among associates but also in leadership and governance roles.
We urge you to nominate committed organizational leaders who have expertise in social determinants and workforce diversity to help us drive these important initiatives. Please submit nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 19.