Pursuing Equity: IHI Brings Together Leading Health Care Organizations for Two-Year Initiative to Advance Equity

With support from the Rx Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and participating organizations, the initiative aims to reduce inequities and outline a blueprint for how health care can advance equity.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) today kicked off a two-year initiative, Pursuing Equity, that aims to reduce inequities in health and health care access, treatment, and outcomes by implementing comprehensive strategies to create and sustain equitable health systems. Nine health care organizations—diverse in size, geography, and patient populations served—will work with IHI and learn from one another. The initiative hopes to break new ground by explicitly addressing institutional racism, and by identifying ways health care organizations can impact equity in areas like employee wellness and social determinants of health, in addition to reducing clinical disparities at the point of care.

Amy Reid, a director at IHI and lead of the Pursuing Equity initiative, stated: “No one sector holds the entire answer to health and wellbeing, but we each have an important role to play in our own sphere of influence. Health care can make an impact by providing equitable, high-quality, and high-value care, and also through its role as an employer and partner in a community. Through Pursuing Equity, we are thrilled to work with nine organizations that are already demonstrating what’s possible when health equity becomes a strategic priority.”

Making health equity a strategic priority is one of five key recommendations recently laid out in the IHI White Paper, Achieving Health Equity: A Guide for Health Care Organizations. Other recommendations include developing structures and processes to support equity work, deploying scientific strategies to address the multiple determinants of health on which health care organizations can have a direct impact, decreasing institutional racism within the organization, and developing partnerships with community organizations. To achieve these goals, each of the nine organizations taking part in Pursuing Equity will build on foundational work in their health systems, including promising programs to reduce clinical disparities, the ability to track equity in process and outcomes data, and a high level of quality improvement knowledge and capability.

“We see a future where every health care system in the country pursues equity as part of daily work and core skills, ensuring that individuals and communities can attain their full health potential—and we believe Pursuing Equity is an important step in creating a blueprint for other organizations to follow,” Derek Feeley, IHI President and CEO, stated. “Pursuing Equity is part of the next phase of IHI’s ongoing commitment to address the unjust, costly, and persistent inequities in health and health care across the nation. We are energized and ready to continue this critical work.”

The nine organizations participating in Pursuing Equity are:

Bloomington, Minnesota

Henry Ford Health System
Detroit, Michigan

Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals
Oakland, California

Main Line Health
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Memphis, Tennessee

Northwest Colorado Health
Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Rush University Medical Center
Chicago, Illinois

Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Vidant Health
Greenville, North Carolina

IHI strives for a future free of health inequities, and is committing its tools, talents, and team to this essential human pursuit. IHI aims to achieve health equity by working in collaboration with organizations, communities, and individuals to accelerate the elimination of inequities in health care access, treatment, and outcomes across our nation. More information and resources about Health Equity are available on IHI.org.

IHI’s Pursuing Equity initiative is made possible through funding by the Rx Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and the participating health systems.

About the Rx Foundation
The Rx Foundation funds innovative projects and people to improve healthcare quality and access in the United States. The foundation supports early-stage initiatives with strong leadership and potential for outsized impact. Learn more at www.rxfoundation.org.

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases and conditions, by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease. For more information about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, please visit www.bms.com/foundation or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement
IHI is a leader in health and health care improvement worldwide. For more than 25 years, IHI has partnered with visionaries, leaders, and front-line practitioners around the globe to spark bold, inventive ways to improve the health of individuals and populations. Recognized as an innovator, convener, trustworthy partner, and driver of results, IHI is the first place to turn for expertise, help, and encouragement for anyone, anywhere who wants to change health and health care profoundly for the better. Learn more at ihi.org.


CXO Communication
Joanna Clark, 207-712-1404

Release Summary

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) today launched Pursuing Equity, a two-year initiative aimed at reducing inequities in health and health care access, treatment, and outcomes.


CXO Communication
Joanna Clark, 207-712-1404