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.
Why Collaborative Model: Across the commonwealth, hospitals and health systems are taking steps to transform their organizations and eliminate health disparities. Currently, individual hospitals and health systems are making meaningful progress in collecting accurate patient demographic data, identifying disparities, investigating underlying drivers, and reimagining practices to ensure equitable patient outcomes. All too often, hospital equity efforts are localized and fragmented.
History has shown that Pennsylvania hospitals make meaningful change faster by working together. Pennsylvania hospitals work collaboratively to address quality concerns, reduce patient harm, and improve care. The RHELAN leverages the knowledge, trust, connections, and skills honed in past collaboratives to advance racial health equity and address racial disparities statewide.
RHELAN Overview: RHELAN meets hospitals where they are on their racial health equity journey and accelerates their learning and action. The program is designed to help health systems apply a quality improvement lens to their equity efforts—improving health outcomes for people of color.
The first step in collaborating with Pennsylvania hospital peers and engaging in the RHELAN is assessing your own organization’s equity baseline—evaluating your strengths and identifying growth opportunities.
HAP urges every Pennsylvania hospital to:
- Identify your health equity leader
- Register for AHA’s Equity Roadmap Initiative by October 1
- Complete the Health Equity Transformation Assessment (available after registering) within 45 days of receipt
- Share your data and transformation action plan directly with HAP to tailor your RHELAN participation and access Pennsylvania-specific learning opportunities and resources