Dr. Michael Waldrum

Vidant Health has committed itself to a two-year initiative to pursue equity within the medical world through the help of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

“Vidant Health is honored to be a part of this initiative which will allow us to work with other organizations across the country to ensure that individuals and communities can attain their full health potential,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO of Vidant Health, in a recent press release. “We all bring different skill sets and experiences to the table which are instrumental in continuing this critical work.”

IHI cites its five key steps for the program in its IHI White Paper, Achieving Health Equity: A Guide for Health Care Organizations.

According to Vidant Health, for the next two years the hospital will be focusing on the following five stages: Make health equity a strategic priority, develop structure and processes to support health equity work, deploy specific strategies to address the multiple determinants of health on which healthcare organizations can have a direct impact, decrease institutional racism within the organization and develop partnerships with community organizations to improve health and equity.

In a press release from Vidant, it stated that “the initiative hopes to break new ground by explicitly addressing institutional racism, and by identifying ways healthcare 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.”

By following this initiative, Vidant hopes to reach its goal “to reduce inequities in health and health care access, treatment and outcomes,” according to the press release.

Only eight other medical centers in the United States have put this program into action, making Vidant the ninth. According to the IHI website, the innovative methods have reached over a dozen other nations such as Canada, South Africa, Sweden, England and elsewhere.

“No one sector holds the entire answer to health and well-being, but we each have an important role to play in our own sphere of influence. Healthcare 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,” said Amy Reid, a director at IHI and lead of the Pursuing Equity initiative. “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.”

According to Vidant’s press release the nine organizations across the country are taking part in Pursuing Equity in order to “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.”

Vidant took part in this initiative because of funding from the Rx Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and the other participating medical centers. The Rx Foundation is an organization that funds innovative health projects across the United States, according to its website.

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