The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 2001 Crossing the Quality Chasm Report points to equity as one of six pivotal aims health systems need to focus on in order to continue to improve the quality of care given to patients. All patients—regardless of race, ethnicity, age, social status, primary language spoken, sexual orientation, level of education, or place of residence—should receive a consistent level of care and have access to the most appropriate resources. MedStar Health Research Institute is committed to health equity and is taking significant steps to extend health equity efforts through the development of its Health Equity Plan.

The Health Equity Plan is a new initiative developed in 2016. It has three goals:

  1. To ensure equity is a core component of research conducted across the MedStar system.
  2. To ensure researchers are trained in health equity and research grants are viewed through an equity lens.
  3. To engage in a participatory and partnered approach to implement the Health Equity Plan.
2016 Report to the Community Infographic

“We cannot achieve excellence without examining ways to improve the health of our patients, those who care for them and our communities,” says MHRI Health Services Research Executive Director Angela Thomas. “At MHRI, we foster a culture that is sensitive and responsive to the unique needs of diverse patient populations.”

The purpose of the Health Equity Plan is not only to heighten awareness of health equity, but to translate the evidence-based research into improving the patient experience, reducing health care costs and optimizing the health of the diverse populations MedStar serves. Through research, the Research Institute identifies strategies, methods and policies that achieve these goals and move them into practice.

Senior advisors from the Research Institute, in partnership with MedStar administrators, providers, researchers, and academic, clinical, and community partners, are key to advancing the Health Equity Plan and realizing its full impact on patient care.

As Research Institute President Dr. Neil Weissman puts it, “With this initiative, the Medstar Health Research Institute is creating knowledge that leads to a culture of equitable care.”

Please read IOM’s 2001 Crossing the Quality Chasm Report to learn more about IOM’s recommendations for improving health equity in health care systems.