Racial Health Equity Learning Action Network

HAP’s Racial Health Equity Learning Action Network (RHELAN) convenes Pennsylvania’s hospitals to advance health equity by working collaboratively to address clinical inequalities that contribute to racial differences in health outcomes and harm patients.

Addressing Racial Inequities in Health Care

Building on aligned commitment to ensuring that every Pennsylvanian receives high-quality, equitable health care, HAP’s Racial Health Equity Learning Action Network (RHELAN) convenes Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems to work collaboratively to identify and confront systemic inequality and structural racism in health care. RHELAN brings hospitals together to address racial, cultural, and ethnic health disparities in our communities.

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HAP and the Pennsylvania hospital community are committed to the long-term work.

  • Cohorts—HAP announced two new eight-week cohorts to be held simultaneously between April 2024 and September 2024 on the topics of Culturally Appropriate Patient Care and the Collection and Use of Data to Drive Change. The cohorts include five virtual sessions, plus regularly scheduled coaching/networking calls designed to provide hospitals with a peer-to-peer network of learning and sharing. 
  • Resources—HAP has gathered policies, toolkits, recommendations, and other resources for hospitals to move towards eradicating racial inequities in health care services. 


During 2023, hospitals convened in person to build connection and collaborate on shared goals.

  • Networking Lunch—DEI hospital professionals met to share and discuss challenges—and solutions—encountered to advancing health equity at the point of patient contact. This meet-and-greet luncheon provided the opportunity to network and share with like-minded colleagues. 
  • Kickoff—Participants learned how design thinking tools can be used to develop hospital-oriented solutions to address health-related social needs. Hospital leaders heard from CMS, Pennsylvania DHS, and Independence Blue Cross leadership about each payors’ ongoing commitment to advance health equity and their efforts to incentivize and enable equitable outcomes through performance measurement and payment design.
  • Health Equity Action Day (HEAD)—Hospitals explored the intersections of health equity, patient safety, and quality improvement via an intensive, in person, all-day, hands-on experience in which hospitals applied human-centered design principles to develop actionable plans to promote equitable care delivery. 
  • Virtual Sharing and Learning Session—The session focused on lessons learned from HEAD, equity opportunities on the horizon, and a chance to hear from participants currently engaged in their journey to implement next steps and action plans developed at the workshop. 


HAP partnered with the AHA to maximize the number of Pennsylvania hospitals that engage in the Equity Roadmap and complete the Health Equity Transformation Assessment (HETA). The HETA tool is the first step—a self-assessment to assist hospitals in furthering their individual journeys toward health equity transformation.

The HETA recommends that hospitals address “Six Levers of Transformation” on which to focus improvement efforts.

The Health Equity Transformation Assessment: The Six Levers of Transformation

Copyright AHA. The Health Equity Transformation Assessment: The Six Levers of Transformation. Permission granted by AHA for HAP's use.

HAP Contacts

Contact HAP's Jennifer Jordan, vice president, regulatory, behavioral health and equity strategy, or Janette Bisbee, education/project manager, quality initiatives, with questions or for more information. Media inquiries should be directed to Chris Daley, vice president, strategic communications.