Advancing Health Equity

October 04, 2021
Included in a slew of new Maryland laws that took effect Friday were several priority bills championed by MHA and your hospitals to advance health equity.

These necessary laws—delivering proper training, data, and collaboration to close long-standing inequities—rounded out our bold health equity agenda in the 2021 legislative session. Your collective advocacy also produced the Maryland Health Equity Resource Act, which became law in May and establishes the Pathways to Health Equity program and Health Equity Resource Communities. Organizations within those communities, including hospitals, will be eligible for grants totaling about $59 million over the next five years.

Other key MHA-supported laws that took effect last week include mandates for implicit bias training, a law to establish the Maryland Commission on Health Equity, and a requirement to ensure that data on health disparities and health inequities is available and transparent.

MHA also promoted legislation that allows employers to file a petition for a peace order on behalf of an employee if a specific act is committed against the employee at work. We teamed up on that bill with the Maryland Nurses Association and the Maryland Society for Human Resource Management Safety Council. That law, part of our shared goal of ensuring safe workplaces, also took effect Friday.

Disparities that have existed for too long cannot be overcome with any one law. Together we will continue to fight for good policy to bolster health outcomes for all Marylanders.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO 
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