2023 Equity of Care Award Winners
Meritus Health - Hagerstown, Md.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital - New Brunswick, N.J.
Rapid City Hospital (Monument Health) - Rapid City, S.D.
About Carolyn Boone Lewis
Carolyn Boone Lewis was amicable, trustworthy and loyal to those who knew her. Her work in health care began with the U.S Department of Health and Human Services and continued along as she served on the boards of the D.C Hospital Association, National Forum of Women Healthcare Leaders and the D.C Mayor’s Health Policy Council. In 2000, she was named chairman of the national trustee's board of the American Hospital Association, becoming the first African American to chair the board.
Lewis’ dedication to health equity began after her during her second pregnancy. While away in a remote location, she began to experience labor pains and approached the first hospital that she came across. The hospital suggested that she go to the next town over to a Black owned clinic. At the second hospital, the physicians recommended that she undergo a procedure that she was advised against by other doctors. The physicians insisted Lewis should follow through with the procedure but as time passed, she went into labor. As a result, this prompted Lewis to drive the health care system forward by achieving health equity while adopting a patient-first model.
Lewis’ contributions to the health care system and those around her were inspirational and provided the blueprint to eliminate inequities and transform the health care system into an equitable space.
“Carolyn Boone Lewis was a pioneer toward building a healthier and more just America. Through her service as a Trustee of a community hospital in Washington, DC and nationally as the first African American to chair the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees, Carolyn helped expand access to high-quality care both locally and across the country. Each year the AHA celebrates Carolyn’s legacy through our Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award, spotlighting hospitals who are leading the way in better serving their patients and communities. It was a tremendous honor and privilege to have worked closely with such a warm and caring person and to have called her a friend.”
President and CEO, American Hospital Association
About the Equity of Care Award
Leadership is needed to direct resources and programs aimed at reducing health care disparitities and increasing diversity in leadership and staff positions. This award honors care systems that have been successful at achieving the following goals:
- Recognize outstanding efforts among hospitals and care systems to advance equity of care;
- Increase awareness of the National Call to Action to Eliminate Health Care Disparities and its stated goals and milestones to eliminate health care disparities; and spread lessons learned and progress toward health care equity and the promotion of diversity.
- The AHA Equity of Care award is named in honor of Carolyn Boone Lewis, the first African American and first hospital trustee to chair the AHA board, who was a tireless advocate for equity of care.
How to Apply for the Equity of Care Awards
Equity of Care Awards Application Process and Requirements
The American Hospital Association’s Health Equity Roadmap is a national framework to help hospitals and health care systems chart their paths of transformation towards achieving health equity and becoming a more inclusive organization. The AHA applauds hospitals and systems that prioritize the elimination of structural barriers that compromise diversity, equity and inclusion.
In order to apply for an award, a hospital or health system:
- Must be an AHA member in good standing.
- Must have registered for the Health Equity Roadmap and completed the Health Equity Transformation Assessment (HETA) by the time of application.
Hospitals and health systems can apply to one of the following three categories:
- Transforming recognizes the hospital system that is implementing strategies to advance equity in their surrounding community.
- Emerging recognizes the hospital that is leveraging the Health Equity Roadmap resources to dismantle structural barriers in their care delivery system and the communities they serve.
- Small/Rural Hospital Excellence recognizes the hospital or system that has demonstrated excellence in advancing health equity in rural or small communities.
Key Information to Keep in Mind
Once the information is collected, the actual submission of the Health Equity Transformation Assessment should take between 1.5 – 2 hours. However, the data collection to support completion of the assessment will require input from a variety of leaders from across the hospital.
While there is no official due date to complete and submit the Health Equity Transformation Assessment, we recommend taking at least one month to gather the team and review the questions in the assessment. We encourage you to complete and submit the Health Equity Transformation Assessment within 45 days of receiving it. Please keep in mind that the deadline for the 2024 Equity of Care Award application is November 17, 2023, at 11:59 pm EST.
Depending on the lever, you may need to involve different team members. Review the questions in the Health Equity Transformation Assessment to determine who or which teams could best answer the questions tied to each lever. Below are examples of whom you may include:
LEVER OF TRANSFORMATION STAFF YOU MAY INCLUDE Equitable and Inclusive Organizational Policies Human Resources Director Systemic and Shared Accountability Chief Operating Officer Community Collaboration for Solutions Chief Population Health Officer Diverse Representation in Leadership and Governance Chief Executive Officer Collection and Use of Data to Drive Action Director, Quality Improvement, Chief Medical Information Officer, Chief Data Officer Culturally Appropriate Patient Care Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Patient Advocate and Community Engagement Lead
Application Dates and Award Notification
Application Opens: September 6, 2023, 12pm EST
Application Deadline: November 17, 2023, 11:59pm EST
Award Notification: May 2024