One of our core beliefs as an organization is that everybody in our state should have access to the right care, at the right place, at the right time, and that everybody should be able to enjoy equally positive health outcomes. Just like caregivers will treat anyone who walks into the ER, we want access and positive outcomes to transcend all demographic distinctions across Washington State.
This is ongoing work, and the issues are real. African American patients in Washington State are significantly more likely to be readmitted to the hospital than white or Hispanic patients. African American women in our state are more likely to die during childbirth than women of other races, just as African American babies have a higher infant mortality rate. To us, this is not acceptable, and we want to change it.
Fortunately, by working together, we know we can make some real, meaningful changes, reversing these types of disparities and improving care for all our patients. That’s why we’re asking all our members to take the American Hospital Association’s (AHA’s) #123 for Equity Pledge to make a public commitment to health equity.
Those who take the pledge take part in work to increase socioeconomic data collection, increase cultural competency to ensure culturally responsive care, advance diversity in leadership and governance to reflect the communities being served, and improve and strengthen partnerships in the community.
We look forward to having you join us and more than 1,400 hospitals across the country actively working to achieve health equity. Each year, the AHA presents the Equity of Care Award to recognize hospitals and health systems whose work has made a meaningful impact on health equity. We look forward to Washington State hospitals and health systems being included on the list of honorees.
WSHA President & CEO