2023 Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity
Deadline for Submission May 24 2023 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 who 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 for initiatives that addressed specific disparities in health care processes or patient outcomes, implemented a well-defined intervention, and achieved a measurable, sustained reduction in disparities. Applications that do not document measurable improvements will not be considered.
One (1) award will be conferred in the 2023 award cycle.
The review panel will evaluate applications from organizations that provide direct patient care. The review will be based on whether the application:
- Addresses a healthcare disparity that is an important quality and/or safety concern.
- Provides baseline data demonstrating the healthcare disparity of interest.
- Describes their analysis of the causes of the disparity within the healthcare organization or in the community (e.g., access to care, communication barriers, unequal diagnostic testing or treatment, social determinants of health, implicit/subconscious bias, and/or institutional/structural racism).
- Describes how the interventions were implemented.
- Demonstrates a measurable improvement in the care for one or more under-represented group(s). Specifically, data provided with the application document improvements in processes of care, health outcomes, and/or experience of care using results tables, statistical tests, run charts, and other quantitative methods.
- 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 initiatives that addressed specific disparities in care processes or health outcomes for a target population, 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 no internal comparison group exists (e.g., a project to increase colon cancer screening among Black or Latino patients with baseline screening rates below national averages). Examples include initiatives 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)
- Increase prenatal care among minority populations
- 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
- Demonstrate reductions in the proportion of patients who did not fill/refill prescriptions
- Decrease disparities in “no show” rates in ambulatory settings
- Decrease disparities in experience of care (“satisfaction”)
Examples of Ineligible Initiatives
The following examples do not qualify as measurable health outcomes. They are strategies that may contribute to measurable health outcomes (for example, as interventions employed within a larger project).
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 lead organization submitting the application 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 by The Joint Commission to apply.
- Kaiser Permanente care sites are not eligible for this award.
Preparing to Submit Your Application and Initiative Eligibility
Applicants are encouraged to access the application preview and read the sections carefully to be aware of the required information and character limits. The preview document includes an eligibility checklist to assist organizations to determine whether their initiative meets the eligibility criteria.
The additional documents to assist organizations that are compiling and writing their Tyson Award applications (including a tip sheet, and eligibility criteria checklist) are available here on the Joint Commission's website.
Applicants will have the opportunity to upload a Supplemental Document of up to seven (7) pages. The attachment should include data and other supporting information. 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. No additional documentation or updates are permitted after the submission deadline. Applicants are strongly encouraged to show baseline data, improvement data after implementing interventions, and data illustrating 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 March 15 and will close on May 24 at 11:59pm (Central Time). 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 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 selected to receive the award will be invited to attend an award ceremony to receive the award. Awardee is also featured in an article in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety as well as other recognition opportunities (i.e., podcasts and blogs).
Please note: By submitting an application, your organization agrees to allow The Joint Commission to share contents of your application, in part or in whole, for the purpose of inspiring organizations and sharing best-practices and improvement strategies.