As the state’s largest health care system, we have a unique responsibility to achieve health equity in New Mexico. Health equity is also essential to Presbyterian's purpose to improve the health of the patients, members and communities we serve.
Health equity means that "everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible," according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This means “removing obstacles that contribute to health inequity such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and a lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments and health care.”
To achieve health equity, we seek to understand how our patients experience health inequities due to structural and social determinants of health. We strive to remove barriers for individuals as we simultaneously seek big-picture, systemic change.
One useful framework developed by the
Institute for Healthcare Improvement for health care organizations to achieve health equity identifies five practices:
- Make health equity a strategic priority.
- Develop structure and processes to support health equity work.
- Deploy specific strategies to address the multiple determinants of health on which health care organizations can have a direct impact.
- Decrease institutional racism within the organization.
- Develop partnerships with community organizations.
At Presbyterian, we are working toward efforts to improve health equity. For example, as a participant in the
CMS Accountable Health Communities program, we are engaged with our partners in screening patients for social needs and aligning the health and social service system. Through this effort, we have expanded our team of peer support specialists and community health workers who work closely with patients who are experiencing the greatest health inequities.
We have also created programs to address issues communities across our state tell us are most important to them, such as access to healthy food and behavioral health care. This means funding programs like our Food Farmacy, which provides a weekly supply of food to patients in need. It also means working with community partners to bring a mobile farmer's market to communities in our South Valley and International District and providing resources on chronic disease management to the many New Mexicans who need them.
Healthcare Equity Index - Top Performer
We are proud to be a Health Equity Index (HEI) survey Top Performer for 2020. The HEI is the national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities' policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. The HEI 2020 evaluates more than 1,600 healthcare facilities nationwide.
Learn about HEI
CEO Action Pledge
The persistent inequities that impact our country and our community underscore the need for urgent action. As one of New Mexico’s largest employers, we stand together to ensure inclusion is core to our workplace culture and our business is representative of the communities we serve. In 2020, Presbyterian’s president and CEO, Dale Maxwell, took it one step further and signed the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion. Alongside more than 2,000 other CEOs, we’re committed to supporting and advancing an inclusive, equitable and trusting environment which includes:
Cultivating an environment that supports open dialogue on complex and sometimes difficult conversations about inclusion and diversity.
Implementing and expanding unconscious bias education and training.
Sharing programs and initiatives – including what works and what doesn't – with other CEOs so we can learn from each other.
Engaging our Board of Directors in the development and evaluation of inclusion and diversity strategies.
Learn more about Presbyterian’s commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity as an employer