IHI Forum Convenes With Call to Action for a System-Wide Approach to Health Equity
Dr. Kedar Mate, President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), kicked-off the IHI Forum 2022 today by calling for collective action to address health equity. He urged the audience of health and health care professionals to change the narrative around inequities, "to understand them not as inevitabilities, but as things that we can, in fact, improve. Inequity in American health care is not our destiny, equity is."
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IHI President & CEO Dr. Kedar Mate is joined on stage at the IHI Forum by Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, Chief Health Equity Officer & Senior Vice President, American Medical Association, and Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward & Publisher of Colorlines, who together discussed the importance of Rise to Health: A National Coalition for Equity in Health Care. (Photo: Business Wire)
Dr. Mate reflected on the prevalence of burnout at all levels of the health care workforce, describing it as moral injury, and made the connection between these problems, the financial challenges our health systems face, and the prevalence of health inequities in our health care system today. "I had always imagined that if we worked to improve health equity, we would improve the lives of those for whom we provided care. But what I had not realized until recently was that working on equity would be healing for the healer."
Citing powerful examples from IHI's work with health systems across the country, Dr. Mate explained how quality improvement methods can address inequities, since inequities are fundamentally examples of unwanted variation. "Here's the good news: quality science - methods now widely understood in health care and that all of you are here to study and learn - are designed to identify and eliminate undesired variation in our systems."
Dr. Mate then announced that IHI has joined with the American Medical Association (AMA), in collaboration with Race Forward and an impressive list of organizations, to create Rise to Health: A National Coalition for Equity in Health Care. "The time has come for a system-wide approach - where health care organizations, individual practitioners, payers, professional societies, and pharmaceutical, research, and biotech organizations come together and align activities to make the whole ecosystem of health care more equitable."
The Rise to Health Coalition will catalyze individuals and organizations committed to health equity and justice to build, change, and transform health care with shared solutions and collective actions. Dr. Mate concluded, "By doing this together we will change the story on equity from one of confusion and competition to one of hope, possibility, collaboration, and alignment."
Joining Dr. Mate on stage was Aletha Maybank, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Health Equity Officer and Senior Vice President, American Medical Association, and Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward and Publisher of Colorlines, who discussed the importance of the Rise to Health Coalition and encouraged attendees to get involved and take action to transform health care together.
This year's IHI Forum convened in person for the first time since 2019, providing an opportunity for attendees from 40 countries to gather as a community to learn about innovative, evidence-based approaches to improving health and health care. Attendees will benefit from five inspiring Keynotes, 100+ learning sesions led by 280 presenters, and numerous networking and wellness experiences. For those unable to attend in person, IHI is also hosting an Online Forum, running from December 13-15, 2022, that will provide more than 100 hours of content, including 90 sessions and 450 posters.
To address the complex challenges the health care industry is facing on multiple fronts, IHI Forum programming is organized around topic tracks that include Health Equity, Workforce and Patient Safety, Workforce Well-Being, Person-Centered Care, Building Improvement Capability, and many more.
Patient and Workforce Safety
Also at the Forum, IHI recorded the inaugural episode of its new Turn on the Lights Podcast, which is co-hosted by Dr. Mate and Dr. Berwick. Turn on the Lights Podcast is a thought-provoking series of candid conversations about how the US health care system is working and not working. Featuring practical solutions from around the world, inspirational stories, and calls to action, the podcast is an outlet for discourse on a range of topics, including improving health and health care delivery, health equity and quality, and social justice. The first episode will air this month on all listening platforms.
For more information about the IHI Forum, or to register for the Online Forum taking place December 13 -15, 2022, please visit ihi.org/Forum. All Keynotes from the in-person Forum will be available on demand as part of the Online Forum. Journalists wishing to attend online should contact Joanna Clark at [email protected].
About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)