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How the Rise to Health Coalition aims to tackle healthcare equity

Its bold, inclusive strategy seeks to transform the healthcare ecosystem through collaboration to achieve racial justice.

In the following video, Camille Burnett, vice president for health equity-US portfolio at Institute for Healthcare Improvement, introduces the Rise to Health Coalition at ICD's 2023 Patient Experience Symposium in Boston.

Another way that we've been working on at IHI with many other partners is on the launch of our Rise to Health Coalition, which is a national coalition. And we did this because we noticed that individuals and organizations that are engaged in this work are doing it in silos. We're all trying to do this work, and we're all doing it in a disparate way. There's lots of lessons we can be learning from each other, but there's a group over here spinning the wheels, and there's another group over there spinning the wheels. And we're all kind of doing … a patchwork approach to try to mobilize in all the spaces that we know need to happen.

We have a limited opportunity for accessing those learnings from each other. And in addition to that, we can learn from strategies of what's working. We don't need to be doing this on our own.

And finally, we noticed that this lack of coordination has been really leading to lack of direction and minimized impacts. The National Coalition for Equity and Healthcare is something that we are leading with a group of partners to really transform the healthcare ecosystem. We want to create a healthcare system nationally where people have the power and the circumstances and the resources that they need to have optimal health.

So what are we going to do? We're going to build capacity. We're going to expand knowledge. We're going to mobilize key sectors of the healthcare organization. We’ve started doing this already. We're going to inform, we're going to transform, we're going to change policy and standards, and we're also going to transform mindsets.

So when I started talking about the narratives and the languages, we're really looking at narrative transformation as a fundamental part of this national strategy.

So far, we have many partners that are on board that are co-leading this with us. We have a slew of founding partners, many that you'll recognize, (and) we have three racial justice partners because we believe that you cannot do equity work without racial justice, and there is no quality without equity. Those are the principles by which we've really started to build and shape this coalition.

Our core partners are the American Medical Association, three racial justice partners, the American Hospital Association, Policy Link, CMS and others. And there’s a whole host of individual advisor organizations as well. All of us are working together to mobilize around the common North Star based on the positions that we have within the healthcare ecosystem and the types of organizations that we are a part of.

So what are we doing? We have five key audiences – individual practitioners, healthcare organizations, payers, pharmaceutical, and biotech, research and professional societies. This is not the entire healthcare ecosystem, but it's a good start. We have partners across all these five different pillars, and we are taking them on this staged journey. This is a journey that was developed through a lot of theory work that we did in 2018 at IHI and we have a white paper talking about achieving health equity. Anyone else who wants to join the coalition on a staged journey that starts with taking commitment is welcome.

Then you get grounded in the local context and then you use some of that work that you identified in terms of data, stratified data. And then you start to look at what is it that you can do within your organization. And we take all of these individuals through a staged journey to ultimately lead to having thriving communities.

The Rise to Health Coalition is a very exciting journey. We just had a big public general launch last May, and we were able to launch our formal website. Since then, we've spent a lot of time planning. This has taken a lot of mobilization and a lot of planning work. But now we're in the implementation stage, getting people to do some of those very specific actions that are very specific to each of those different pillar audiences that I mentioned.

Originally published by ICD Healthcare on Nov. 21, 2023.

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