Black woman attending a virtual meeting

AcademyHealth today published the final recommendations report of its Advisory Group on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Health Services and Policy Research.

As a leading professional organization for a field working to improve health and health care for all, AcademyHealth continues to build on its previous work and strengthen our commitment to model, lead, and influence progress toward racial equity.

To assist these efforts, AcademyHealth convened a panel of highly accomplished external advisors to inform a sustainable, action-oriented strategy to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in health services research (HSR). The group was co-chaired by Dorcas Lind, Dr. Margo Edmunds and Dr. Abdul Shaikh.

The recommendations are grouped in five overarching themes which call on AcademyHealth to:

  1. Be a catalyst for changing the field of HSR to address racism and promote equity by becoming a resource for members and others.
  2. Elevate the importance and visibility of health equity research and researchers within HSR.
  3. Promote and develop the careers of health equity researchers and improve workforce diversity in HSR.
  4. Promote quality, accountability, and transparency of health equity data and research methods.
  5. Increase support for health equity research through meaningful partnerships and collaborations.

The group’s recommendations recognize AcademyHealth’s role in the broader HSR ecosystem - as an employer, membership organization, convener, and a thought leader. They also consider opportunities to leverage the organization’s reputation and sphere of influence, including relationships with our members, partners, stakeholders, and the larger research community, including funders.

“We have known for decades that racial, ethnic, and economic disparities exist in health, health care and the field of health services research,” said Dr. Lisa Simpson, AcademyHealth President and CEO. “Yet, HSR has done far too little to grapple with the institutional, policy, and cultural factors in our field that impede our progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion. These recommendations challenge AcademyHealth to do more and to use our voice and resources to accelerate progress.”

AcademyHealth is seeking additional community input on the recommendations, as well, and will use that feedback to prioritize a detailed implementation plan, to be released later this fall. Comments may be provided via this online form until 5 p.m. ET on August 25, 2021.

The full report and a one-page summary is available here.

KRosengren headhsot

Kristin Rosengren

Vice President, Strategic Communications - AcademyHealth

Kristin Rosengren is Vice President, Strategic Communications, and co-director of the AcademyHealth Translatio... Read Bio

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Underlying the inherent institutional issues of our nation's healthcare, there is a national CAPABILITY TRAP that is most succinctly describable by our nation's declining level of Social Cohesion since around 1965. This report to Academy Health is robust in its commitment to enhancing the human capital of our nation's healthcare institutions. Ultimately, any attempt to improve our nation's Population Health will require improved social cohesion, community neighborhood by community neighborhood. Early childhood development, Maternal mortality, longevity at birth, and adolescent survival will continue to worsen unless we also invigorate our nation's SOCIAL COHESION. Defining a broadly inter-connected DESIGN EPISTEMOLOGY that encompasses Population Health as well as its Healthcare and is intently honored by the entire healthcare industry may be the best first step. ...... The Anthropocene has disrupted so many of the social traditions that have traditionally promoted human survival. The Common Good within every community is at stake, viz this week's rapidly evolving Covid surge. Academy Health may not have the correct constellation of leadership stakeholders who are accustomed to acknowledging their own institution's "social responsibilities." As stated by the late Senator John E. Lewis, "If not us, then who?  If not now, then when?"

Submitted by Paul J Nelson MS MD on Thursday, August 12th, 2021 at 12:08 pm