In 2019, Presbyterian embarked on a formalized journey to address health equity in our communities and for our patients and members. To achieve health equity, we seek to understand how our patients experience health inequities due to structural and social determinants of health (SDOH). We strive to remove barriers for individuals as we simultaneously seek big-picture, systemic change. This work is carried out across the system and through interdisciplinary, enterprise-wide committees, including the Health Equity, LGBTQ+, and Perinatal Health Equity Committees.
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 and discrimination, as well as their consequences including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and healthcare.
Health equity is essential to delivering on the Presbyterian purpose to better serve members, patients and communities in New Mexico. Presbyterian is committed to fostering an inclusive and equitable environment that creates the conditions for all our patients and members to thrive. To guide this work, Presbyterian utilized the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) best practice framework and IHI Health Equity assessment to build a foundation and strengthen our enterprise approach.
Make Equity a Strategic Priority
Build Infrastructure to Support Health Equity
Address the Multiple Determinants of Health
Eliminate Racism and Other Forms of Oppression
Partner with the Community to Improve Health Equity
At Presbyterian, we all work toward improving 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 behavioral health care and healthy food. This means community investments in local agriculture, referral-based programs that connect individuals to fresh produce and additional healthy food in their community, and prevention and chronic disease management education and support as part of our overarching Food as Medicine initiatives.
Join our Health Equity Training Courses to explore related topics, including how to identify health inequities, the importance of cultural sensitivity, effective cross-cultural communication, eliminating racism and other forms of oppression and trauma-informed care. Courses are open to Presbyterian employees and community partners.
Why We Ask
To care for you, we need to know you
At Presbyterian, we care about you, your health and your well-being. Because we promise to know you and want to care for you better, we will ask for detailed information about your race, ethnic background, preferred language, gender identity and sexual orientation.
Presbyterian is committed to LGBTQIA+ health equity. The LGBTQIA+ Care Program aims to improve access to and experiences in healthcare for LGBTQIA+ New Mexicans through direct patient, member and community support, as well as programmatic systems change efforts.
This program provides a confidential mechanism for navigation of the Presbyterian Health System for LGBTQIA+ people seeking care and/or who are Presbyterian Health Plan members. Email us at LGBTQ@phs.org to learn more
LGBTQIA+ Patient-Centered Care Education
Presbyterian proudly offers free educational opportunities to all workforce members, both internally and through our national partners. Most activities offer AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM and/or other CEUs.
As part of the Health Equity Training Courses, the LGBTQIA+ Care Program provides monthly and ongoing educational opportunities for clinical staff, non-clinical healthcare staff, and members of the community.
Through Our Partners
As a participant in the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), we are excited to offer free, self-paced, online education to our workforce.
The Center for Affiliated Learning (the CAL)
The CAL offers a range of free online trainings ranging from basics of LGBTQ patient-centered care to more specialized topics such as serving trans youth. These trainings include both introductory and advanced courses.
National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center
A program of the Fenway Institute that provides education, resources, and consultation to healthcare organizations with the goal of optimizing quality, cost-effective healthcare for LGBTQIA+ people.
Healthcare Equality Index (HEI)
Presbyterian is proud to be a Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) Top Performer since 2019, earning Leader status for HEI 2022. We are continuously working to improve care for our LGBTQIA+ patients, members, and communities.
The HEI is a national benchmark survey that assesses healthcare facilities’ LGBTQIA+ patient and employee inclusivity. Facilities are evaluated on a scale of 0 -100 based on policies, practices, services, and community engagement. 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the 2022 HEI survey.