Health Equity

Strategic Initiatives

Cultural Awareness Education

Memorial Healthcare System is dedicated to instilling cultural awareness to raise awareness among our team to ensure that there is sensitivity and knowledge of cultures, values, and beliefs among the diverse communities served.

Our commitment is to ensure that our patients from communities such as LGBTQ; communities of color; and other underrepresented segments who have been historically underserved due to limited access to culturally competent care, receive equitable care and achieve positive health outcomes.

Memorial recognizes that instituting professional development and training for our team is paramount to achieving our Belonging and Equity commitment.

Health Equity

Health equity is the state or the process of achieving the highest level of health for all people, regardless of social position or other factors that may disadvantage them. It requires addressing historical and contemporary injustices, overcoming obstacles to health and healthcare, and eliminating preventable health disparities.

Health equity is different from health equality, which is an outcome of health equity (CDC, 2023).


equity equality bike graphic 2022 robert wood johnson foundation
Reproduced with permission of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ


In addition, Memorial also pledged to American Hospital Association’s #123 for Equity Pledge to Act Campaign, which launched in July 2015 and is building upon the National Call to Action to Eliminate Health Care Disparities.

The pledge urges hospital and health system leaders to continue to develop and implement strategies to increase the collection and use of race, ethnicity, and language preference and sociodemographic data; advance cultural competency training; and increase diversity in leadership and governance.

A fourth goal was added to improve and strengthen community partnerships.

Health Equity Diversity, and Inclusion Council

Memorial established a Health Equity Diversity, and Inclusion Council to develop a comprehensive, systematic approach to advance health equity priorities. The Council provides strategic guidance so that all facets of the health equity journey are aligned and tackled from a holistic point.

As part of Memorial’s efforts to advance health equity, technical assistance was sought out to develop an “Inclusion Scorecard for Population Health™” and conduct a thorough review of Memorial’s existing practices and define a core set of activities to track across our six hospitals in a quest to operationalize health equity in a more uniform approach.

The Council has four sub-committees that are led by both senior and executive leaders focused on elements that undergird the Council’s work:

  • data/analytics;
  • workforce culture,
  • community; and
  • governance.

The initial initiatives include analyzing safety and quality data disaggregated by race and ethnicity and inculcating Belonging and Equity into several education programs. The focus is to identify health disparity trends that can be addressed by interventions.

Physician Diversity Council

A Physician Diversity Council was established to provide guidance and drive strategies that support a comprehensive and integrated belonging and equity design that complements Memorial’s Belonging and Equity action plan. The Council is chaired by Memorial’s Chief Medical Officer to ensure that executive leadership is kept apprised of required resources and the Council has their support on initiatives.

The Council provides critical insights that instill industry best practices by establishing strategic initiatives for Memorial Physician Group, supporting a culture of belonging among stakeholders, and ensuring Memorial drives equitable outcomes for patients.

Because We Care Model

Memorial developed the Because We Care Model in response to the question “why do we ask about social determinants of health?”. The answer to this question is - because we care. Social Determinants of Health are the social circumstances under which people are born, work, live and age that affect disparities in health outcomes.

Because We Care provides a way to identify areas of unmet needs (food insecurity, transportation, etc.) and a pathway for patients to get the necessary resources to meet those needs – so that we can mitigate those disparities and improve outcomes.

Memorial’s Because We Care model is based on the key components of:

1. Because We Care Social Determinants of Health screening.

2. Providing patients and families community resource information - how and where to access to community resources such as,, etc.

3. Connecting patients directly with community resources, when they consent using our Population Health or Community Services team.

4. Closing the loop - following up with patients to ensure the connection was completed, when they consent using our Population Health or Community Services team.