“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
These words Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared in 1966 still ring true today. When the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) was formed 55 years ago, our founding members probably did not fathom this injustice could or would permeate. While many who continue to work hard on advancing health equity may feel fatigued and disheartened by the data that continue to trend unfavorably for people of color, we must be steadfast and even more committed to the cause. The legacy of Dr. King reminds us of this and the importance of continuing our efforts today. The past three years have been especially brutal to our communities, but they also elevated the importance of these efforts to the global stage. We must remain steadfast to our commitment to this work.
Monday is our nation’s annual reminder of the work and legacy of Dr. King. It’s an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the ideals he set forth, to address the challenges he identified, and to band together as a community to collectively seek solutions to the issues and concerns that divide us. At NAHSE, we remain committed to being a vessel for partnerships, education, advocacy, research, innovation and learning. For example, we engaged in important discussions facilitated by Deloitte’s Greenhouse team around hospital CEO allyship. We supported the ELEVATE mentor-leadership development model to strengthen our ability to provide resources to leaders at all levels of their career trajectory. We re-energized our Better Together partnership with AHA’s Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE), the National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives (NALHE) and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) through a recommitment to a new Memorandum of Understanding, our shared missions, activities and support of each other’s work.
As a member of IFDHE’s incoming Leadership Council, I personally look forward to working on strategic solutions to advance health equity in our nation’s hospitals and health systems. We have strengthened academic engagement with the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) and have new joint educational programming with institutions such as Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Department of Health Administration. We will expand our work with HBCUs and increase their participation in our Annual Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition.
We recently completed our strategic planning process for 2023-2025. NAHSE is ABLE!
• Amplify Black voices in Healthcare through our advocacy, partnerships, educational programs, research, public policy work and thought leadership.
• Build the pipeline of future Black healthcare executives at all levels through our innovative programing and partnerships.
• Lead by example and partner with others to share resources and address joint goals.
• Ensure the sustainability of NAHSE for years to come.
We must all be reminded of Dr. King’s words and continue to fight the great injustice of inequity in health care. Onward!
Lisa Mallory is the CEO of the National Association of Health Services Executives.