Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) has been recognized by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Institute for Diversity and Health Equity with the 2019 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award.
The Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award is bestowed annually and was created to recognize outstanding efforts among hospitals and health care systems to advance equity of care to all patients, and to spread lessons learned and progress toward achieving health equity.
AAMC is being recognized for its efforts to provide equitable care and reduce health inequities. In 2016, AAMC established a Health Equity Task Force, which for the past two years has published a health equity report identifying trends in patient demographics and health care disparities. This data has resulted in the development of action plans to improve patient outcomes across the health system.
As the first hospital in the nation to sponsor a local chapter of Coming to the Table, an employee circle group, AAMC is also focused on creating a more diverse and inclusive culture by having open, candid conversations about cultural differences and discussing ways to understand and mitigate unconscious bias. These discussions led to diversity, equity and inclusion as a top priority in the organization’s operating plan, and AAMC’s strategic efforts have enhanced the organization’s candidate selection process. AAMC has increased the diversity of its leadership over 30 percent in one year.
In addition, AAMC’s LGBTQIA Business Resource Group, African-American Business Resource Group and Generation Now Business Resource Group are grassroots groups formed by employees of all demographics to propel numerous strategies and actions to further diversity and equity across the health system. As a result, in 2018, AAMC was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Top Performer.
“Anne Arundel Medical Center is committed to strengthening our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to better harness the innovation and power that effective diversity and inclusion inspires,” said AAMC President/CEO Victoria Bayless. “With compassion, trust, dedication, quality, innovation, diversity and collaboration as our core values and steering philosophies, we recognize that a strong diversity, equity and inclusion culture will help facilitate our success. We are proud to be recognized with the Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award for our efforts.”
In its announcement, AHA President/CEO Rick Pollack and Vice President Duane Reynolds said, “Hospitals and health systems that participate in the Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award process demonstrate a commitment to improving health for all people. Their work is not only a moral imperative but it’s also the way in which hospitals will be positioned to succeed under population health and value-based care,” said Pollack. “We thank Anne Arundel Medical Center and the Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care honorees for their innovative work to improve outcomes and advance health equity in the communities they serve.”
“Across the country, racial, ethnic and cultural inequities are everyday realities for far too many individuals, limiting their highest potential for health and hospitals and health systems are committed to closing the gaps,” said Reynolds, who also serves as president and CEO of the AHA’s Institute for Diversity and Health Equity. “A focus on eliminating disparities is one way in which hospitals and health systems make a commitment to just and equitable care for their patients and communities.”
The Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award will be presented to AAMC on July 25 at the AHA’s Leadership Summit in San Diego.