About This Work


Health Equity is a moral imperative and a sound business proposition for hospitals and health care systems. We acknowledge that this has not always been the case in all hospitals in the United States. However, the American Hospital Association seeks to play a part in creating a more just and equitable society by supporting its members in advancing health equity. Hospitals and health care system are vital institutions in communities across the country. Hospitals are vital assets for national security, community economic development and a civil society.


The AHA’s Institute for Diversity and Health Equity has designed the Health Equity Roadmap as a framework to guide hospitals and health care systems to advance equity. The Institute’s targeted efforts to elevate equity as a key priority among the membership began in 2015 with the #123forEquity Pledge Campaign. At that time, hospital CEOs took commitments to accelerate progress toward health equity. The Campaign served as a call-to-action and raised awareness about the inequities in health care. The next phase of this work requires that our members take meaningful actions to ensure sustained change.

The Health Equity Roadmap

Support for this work was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. In 2019, the IFDHE was awarded a grant from the foundation to build internal capacity within the AHA.

Informed by the learnings from the Pledge, efforts will drive awareness into actions by developing the structures for the Health Equity Roadmap.

The components to the Health Equity Roadmap:

  • Health Equity Transformation Model
  • Health Equity Transformation Assessment
  • Health Equity Transformation Profile
  • Transformation Action Planners
  • Health Equity Action Library

The Journey

The equity journey may have different starting points for every hospital or health system. However, transformation may be realized at each step of the process, resulting in improved operational efficiencies, vibrant, healthy communities, more equitable patient care and greater opportunities for all individuals to achieve optimal health. Healthy communities require innovative approaches that move beyond performative equity actions. To “move the needle” as a field, requires a collective effort among hospitals and health systems — in many cases, taking what has already begun and moving to the next level.

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