2021 Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity
Deadline extended to August 6, 2021 at 11:59pm (CT).
Bernard J. Tyson, the late chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente, worked tirelessly to address the healthcare disparities that plague the U.S. health care system. To honor his memory, The Joint Commission and Kaiser Permanente have established the Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity. This award will recognize healthcare organizations and their partners that led initiatives that achieved a measurable, sustained reduction in one or more healthcare disparities. All types of organizations that directly deliver health care are eligible to apply, and the applicant can have addressed disparities for any vulnerable population (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc). Our vision is that this award will recognize achievement, inspire organizations to launch projects to address healthcare disparities, and provide concrete examples for others to emulate.
Applicants are encouraged to submit applications that describe efforts that addressed specific disparities in care processes or outcomes, implemented a well-defined intervention, and found a measurable, sustained reduction in disparities. Applications describing initiatives to address disparities that do not report measurable improvements will not be considered.
The review panel will evaluate applications based on whether the submission:
- Addresses a healthcare disparity that is an important quality and/or safety concern
- Provides baseline data demonstrating the healthcare disparity addressed
- Describes the root causes of the gap, including causes within the healthcare organization or in the community (e.g., social determinants of health, implicit/subconscious bias, and institutional/structural racism)
- Describes details of the interventions implemented
- Demonstrates a measurable improvement in the care for one or more under-represented group(s); this may include processes of care, outcomes, and/or experience of care
- Demonstrates sustained improvement; there is no minimum duration for this, but six months or more is desirable
- Describes innovative aspects of the project, including principles that are applicable to other disparities and/or any lessons learned that may be beneficial to other organizations.
Examples of Appropriate Projects
Applicants are encouraged to submit applications describing efforts that addressed specific disparities in care processes or outcomes at their healthcare organization, implemented a well-defined intervention, and found a measurable, sustained reduction in disparities. Projects targeting a vulnerable population with known disparities are eligible even if they do not have an internal comparison group (e.g., a project to increase colon cancer screening among Black or Latino patients with baseline screening rates below national averages). Possible examples include projects to:
- Decrease disparities in cancer screening or increase follow-up after abnormal screening tests
- Decrease disparities in care for chronic conditions (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes)
- Decrease disparities in vaccination rates (influenza, pneumococcal pneumonia, herpes zoster)
- Increase prenatal care among minority populations
- Decrease disparities in experience of care (“satisfaction”)
- Increase the proportion of patients with limited English proficiency who receive interpreter services during admission or during daily rounds while hospitalized
- Implement a navigator program to decrease disparities in the proportion of patients with end-stage kidney disease who complete all required evaluations and are listed for transplant within a defined time period
- Implement a system to identify barriers to care (e.g., social determinants of health), link patients with barriers to community-based services to address these, and measure the number of patients who had their needs addressed
- Expand eligibility for ability to pay plans and demonstrate reductions in the proportion of patients who did not fill/refill prescriptions
- Decrease disparities in “no show” rates in ambulatory settings
Examples of Projects that Would Not Be Appropriate to Submit
There are many other types of projects to address disparities. It is often difficult to assess whether some projects decreased disparities, therefore, projects that did not achieve measurable effects on care processes or outcomes are not eligible. Although the following examples do not qualify as outcomes of a project, the strategies can be included as potential methods to achieve other outcomes.
Examples include the following:
- Increase the diversity of staff at a healthcare organization
- Increase the number of patient education materials available in the languages most frequently spoken by patients in the healthcare organization
- Increase engagement with diverse communities the healthcare organization serves
- Increase the number of examination tables that can better accommodate patients with physical limitations
- The applicant organization must deliver direct patient care. If a group of organizations or a collaborative is applying, it can include non-clinical partners.
- Organizations can apply regardless of their accrediting organization, and they do not need to be accredited to apply.
- Kaiser Permanente care sites are not eligible for this award.
One (1) award will be conferred in the 2021 award cycle.
Preparing to submit your application
Applicants are encouraged to access the one page application preview and read the sections carefully to be aware of the required information and character limits. Character limits include spaces and page lengths should be considered as single spaced.
Applications will be evaluated on the basis of how well they describe the disparity identified; quantify the baseline disparity; explain the intervention developed to address the disparity and how and when it was implemented; quantify the improvement; and describe how the improvement was sustained. If the intervention/solution and resulting improvement was replicated after the initial project (e.g., in other locations, for other performance gaps identified), this should be described.
Applicants will have the opportunity to upload a Supplemental Document of up to seven (7) pages of Tables and/or Figures (anything in excess of 7 pages will not be considered in the evaluation). Additional narratives included in the Supplemental Document that attempt to respond to or elaborate on questions asked in the application will not be considered in the evaluation. Applicants are strongly encouraged to show baseline data, improvements after implementing interventions, and sustained reductions in the disparity after the initial implementation period. Applicants must reference each figure/table within their narrative responses to link the information.
Application and Submission Due Date
The application period will open on May 17, 2021 and will close on August 6 at 11:59pm (CT). To start an application, click “Register” in the upper right of this screen to become a user on this award site. The award site will prompt you to enter name and email address. After verifying your email address via a link sent in an automated email, you will be taken to the application form.
Feedback on Submissions
Award recipients and non-recipients will be informed whether their submission was selected, however no application-specific feedback or information about the award panel deliberations will be provided.
Receiving the Award
The organization(s) selected to receive the award are invited to attend the in-person or virtual recognition ceremony to receive the award.