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Children's Hospital Association: Health Equity is Everyone's Job in a Hospital

By Dr. John Cowden, Jessi Van Roekel

The social justice movements and disparities revealed by the pandemic in 2020 put a spotlight on systemic inequities. This led to a renewed interest among many hospitals in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

The challenge for hospital leaders is not that inequities have suddenly appeared where few were before, but that inequities have long been—and continue to be—pervasive, even in pediatric health care organizations with long-standing missions to provide excellent care to all children.

The problem of unfairness in care and outcomes is not new, but realizing the full depth and breadth of this issue can feel overwhelming. Where do you start? Is having DEI experts at the hospital enough to handle issues that exist fundamentally in all hospital areas every day? If not, what else can you do?

At Children’s Mercy Kansas City, leaders have supported the growth of a DEI ecosystem for 13 years. The first step, in 2008, was the formation of the Office of Equity and Diversity and the Equity and Diversity Council, which provided a coordinating base for DEI work.

Over time, a broad network of DEI-focused groups was created, including committees, champions and projects in patient care, human resources, faculty affairs, research, community engagement, and more, as well as employee resource groups and an array of patient family advisory councils.


Read the full article via the Children's Hospital Association

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Children's Mercy Kansas City