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Health Equity

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Health Equity Key Concepts

Health equity embodies the principle that every individual should have an equal and just chance to achieve optimal health. It prompts us to consider fundamental questions: Do we value the idea of everyone having a fair opportunity to attain their best possible health? What are the repercussions when this opportunity is denied? Understanding the importance of health equity is crucial, as it not only impacts individuals but also affects our hospital and community.

Reflecting on instances where people have been denied this opportunity can provide insight into the underlying causes and potential solutions. A commitment to health equity can significantly influence our approach to work and interactions with patients, fostering a more inclusive and compassionate healthcare environment.

“Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health, such as poverty, discrimination and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.”

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

“The Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) are nonmedical factors that influence health outcomes. They are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.”

World Health Organization

Overall Goals toward Achieving Health Equity

To make sure everyone has a fair chance at being healthy, some organizations use a plan with five parts. This plan helps them work towards making sure everyone has good health. At RUMC, they’re using this plan to show they’re serious about making sure everyone has a fair chance at being healthy.

  • Health Equity is a Strategic Priority
  • Infrastructure to Support Health Equity
  • Address the Multiple Determinants of Health
  • Eliminate Racism and Other Forms of Oppression
  • Partner with the Community to Improve Health Equity

Wyatt R, Laderman M, Botwinick L, Mate K, Whittington J. Achieving Health Equity: A Guide for Health Care Organizations. IHI White Paper. Cambridge, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2016.

In 2023, Richmond University Medical Center started a mission to ensure everyone gets fair healthcare. Our main goal is to understand how things like where you are born, grow, live, play, and age affect your health. We’re committed to removing obstacles that stop people from getting good healthcare. Our commitment is firm, aiming to break down barriers that hinder individuals from accessing quality healthcare and attaining equitable health outcomes.

Consistent with the mission, vision, and values of Richmond University Medical Center, this plan provides consistent, safe, high-quality care, treatment, and services and establishes the parameters of the medical center’s efforts to promote healthcare equity by addressing disparities in healthcare.

The medical center’s commitment to Health Equity will use a suite of equity-focused organizational competencies provided by CMS and TJC aimed at achieving Health Equity for racial and ethnic minority groups, people who experience mental illness, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, individuals with limited English proficiency, rural populations, religious minorities, and people facing socioeconomic challenges.

This is an organization-wide effort brought to life through the collaboration of various departments and interdisciplinary teams. We have groups for Health Equity, LGBTQ+, and Maternal Health Equity Collaboratives, all working in unison to create a more equitable and inclusive healthcare environment for our community.

Health equity is a foundational concept centered on the principle of ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to achieve their highest level of health and well-being. It entails eliminating disparities in health outcomes and access to healthcare services, irrespective of one’s social or economic background. Achieving health equity requires dismantling obstacles like poverty and discrimination. It involves addressing root causes and their far-reaching consequences, such as disempowerment, limited access to well-paying jobs, quality education and housing, safe living environments, and comprehensive healthcare.

Health equity plays a pivotal role in realizing Richmond University Medical Center’s mission to enhance the well-being of both patients and the Staten Island community. Our steadfast commitment involves cultivating an inclusive and just environment where every patient and community member can prosper.

RUMC Health Equity Statement: At Richmond University Medical Center, our unwavering commitment to Health Equity drives us to pursue a vision of zero inequity. Health Equity stands as a strategic priority, and we are diligently establishing a robust infrastructure to champion this cause. By systematically gathering and stratifying demographic and Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) data, we aim to address health disparities and eradicate racism and other oppressive forces.

To elevate our Health Equity initiatives, our hospital is forging partnerships with organizations and stakeholders. Together, we aspire to link at-risk patients with vital community resources, fostering an environment where they can not only overcome challenges but thrive.

Community Resources

To Provide the Best Care, Understanding You is Essential

Richmond University Medical Center is wholeheartedly dedicated to your health and well-being. In our commitment to delivering exceptional care, we seek to know you better by gathering comprehensive information about your racial background, ethnicity, preferred language, and gender identity. This data enables us to customize our care to meet your specific needs and preferences.

LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care

We are thrilled that Richmond University Medical Center has been awarded Builder Recognition from the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) in 2024. The HEI is a nationwide benchmark survey that assesses the inclusivity of healthcare institutions regarding LGBTQIA+ patients and employees. This recognition reflects our ongoing commitment to providing high-quality, inclusive care for all individuals, including LGBTQIA+ patients, members, and the communities we serve. We are dedicated to continually improving our practices to ensure that everyone receives the respect, dignity, and quality of care they deserve.  We are proud of this achievement and will continue to work diligently to enhance our services and support for the LGBTQIA+ community.

We also collaborate with the Pride Center of Staten Island in community outreach events and educational initiatives for our healthcare professionals. This partnership underscores our commitment to providing inclusive care for LGBTQIA+ individuals. Through this collaboration, we aim to raise awareness, promote acceptance, and enhance our cultural competency in serving the LGBTQIA+ community. We believe that education and community engagement are key to fostering a welcoming and supportive environment for all.