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AMA, IHI Launch Coalition for Actionable Health Equity 

Rise to Health Coalition aims to mobilize healthcare players for collective action toward health equity, focusing on care access, workforce diversity, SDOH, and quality of care. 

The American Medical Association (AMA), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and Race Forward have united in a national coalition advocating for multi-sector collaborations to prioritize actionable health equity. 

Named the Rise to Health initiative has been sparked by the lack of impactful, coordinated strategies to promote health equity, AMA said. It aims to mobilize individuals and healthcare organizations alike, providing them with the necessary tools to create nationwide change. 

Recognizing that ending systemic racism in healthcare is integral to eliminating health inequities, serves as the backbone of their mission. 

“Launching the Rise to Health Coalition represents another big step in our journey to ground the AMA, health care, and our nation’s health care system around equity with a vision of achieving optimal health for all,” Jack Resneck Jr, MD, president of AMA, said in a press release.  

“As leaders in medicine, we know that ending systemic racism in health care will help end health inequities for everyone,” continued Resneck. “The unique, cohesive national strategy behind Rise to Health Coalition will help make progress in advancing racial justice across health care and eliminating inequities in the health of each one of our patients.” 

Rise to Health Coalition also aims to unite diverse healthcare players, including healthcare organizations, individual physicians, payers, pharmaceutical groups and providers, biotech organizations, and professional societies, to foster collaboration for health equity and address systemic disparities head-on. 

“The Rise to Health Coalition is making health equity actionable,” said Kedar Mate, MD, president and CEO of IHI. “We are decidedly and urgently moving beyond describing the problem of health inequities to creating real results for real people. Measurably moving the needle is the only way we will grow this movement and convince even the most cynical skeptics that, together, we can bring about meaningful, sustainable improvement”. 

 “We are also making explicit the inseparable links between quality and equity. We believe there is no quality in health care without equity.” 

The coalition has been designed with three major objectives, focusing on key areas such as healthcare care access, workforce diversity, social determinants of health, and quality of care.  

First, Rise to Health intends to empower individuals and healthcare entities with practical skills and tools.  

Additionally, the initiative aims to inspire a lasting change in mindsets and narratives within the healthcare sector.  

The final objective aims to influence and radically change healthcare policy, payment models, education, standards, and practices. 

In practice, this includes actions like eliminating race-based clinical algorithms, recognizing inequities through harm event reporting, addressing disparities using quality and safety methods, offering equitable benefits and incentives, and ensuring affordable access to therapeutics. 

Furthermore, the coalition plans to develop various resources to aid individuals and organizations in bolstering and harmonizing their existing health equity efforts. This includes continuously updated resources, programs, and opportunities like virtual peer-to-peer learning, networking, and technical support, adapting as new solutions continue to emerge. 

In the last few years, AMA has made bold promises to improve health equity. In 2021, AMA released its three-year strategic plan to tackle the biggest health equity challenges facing the industry today. 

AMA designated a portion of the strategic plan to confront its own racist past, fostering pathways to healing and reconciliation. 

Building on these efforts, AMA has formed partnerships with institutions like Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Joint Commission.  

Together, they launched a learning network focused on assisting hospital systems in implementing health equity principles into their quality and safety practices.  

Furthermore, AMA has invested $3 million over multiple years to improve health outcomes in Chicago's west side, reiterating its strategic commitment to advancing health equity.  

Through these initiatives and collaborations, AMA has taken concrete steps to fulfill its promises and drive meaningful progress toward achieving health equity. 

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