Chair Files

Advancing Care Equity and More

University Hospitals, Cleveland, is advancing multiple care equity initiatives. The over 2,000-bed, $3 billion health care system has used the AHA’s Diversity and Disparities Benchmark Study of U.S. Hospitals. Minorities comprise 26% of UH board seats, compared with 14% nationally. Minorities comprise 17% of UH first and midlevel managers, about the national average and an area identified for growth. For staff diversity, UH employee resource groups are used to recruit a diverse workforce and also to help with community programs. UH has developed a Leadership Academy, Mentoring Program and Bridge to the Future initiative to increase diversity in its internal job pipeline. Its annual summer boot camp for students from Cleveland public schools encourages participants to think about health care careers. To increase clinician diversity, UH sponsors the Edgar B. Jackson, MD, Endowed Chair for Clinical Excellence and Diversity, a minority faculty development award and fellowship program, a clerkship as well as the KeyBank Minority Physician Loan Forgiveness Program.

Beyond its hospital walls, UH has established The Anchor Mission to leverage civic and economic influence to foster community health and prosperity. The program’s motto: Hire, Buy and Live Local. One program, Step Up to UH, enabled the health system to hire more than 62 participants, with another 26 currently enrolled in classes; these participants are from the neighborhood surrounding UH Case Medical Center, a minority resident area of Cleveland. The program, a pre-employment series of classes matched with post-employment job coaching, has a job retention rate of nearly 85%. Heidi Gartland, UH vice president, government and community relations, explains, “We’re looking at a new way of economic development for our hospital community. We’re really part of the neighborhood.” Lessons the health system has learned along the way include: recognizing the importance of external stakeholders and engaging them earlier; realizing that changing culture is more than checking a box; making commitment public by reporting findings; having a high “say/do” ratio; and thinking beyond current projects.

“University Hospitals’ Journey to Increase Diversity in Leadership and Reduce Health Disparities,” an HPOE webinar presentation by Heidi Gartland, is available for free download. Other AHA health care equity and diversity resources are available at the Equity of Care and Institute for Diversity in Health Management websites.


Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......