Leadership in Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Council

In 2002, the Institute of Medicine produced the landmark report, Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities, which outlined the stark reality that disparities in health care exist and are associated with worse health outcomes. Since that time, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality publishes the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) each year, which tracks the nation’s performance on health care access, quality, and disparities. These reports have increased awareness that disparities are systemic across health care industry, but outcomes have not changed.

Put simply, racism and inequitable treatment are a serious public health concern.

In July 2020, our CEO Maulik Joshi published a call to action titled: Hundreds of Days of Action as a Start to Address Hundreds of Years of Inequity in the NEJM Catalyst. In response, Meritus Health formed the Leadership in Equity and Disparity Council better known as “LEAD,” to help eliminate disparities and inequality both within our health system, and throughout our community. The LEAD Council is a representative cross-section of employees, providers and management from our health system who desire to take action and affect positive change.

Meritus Health values diversity, inclusion and the health equity of the community we serve by empowering a diverse workforce to eliminate disparities in the care we provide to our patients. Health equity allows our patients to realize their full health potential no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make. To deliver on our mission, execute our vision, and embody our values, Meritus Health will strive to achieve health equity for the patients we serve. The commitment to promote equitable practices and to eliminate disparities ultimately results in the core work of improving quality and patient safety.

“We can no longer only dream of equality and hope for change. We must act. Together, we will eradicate racism and inequity in all forms and commit to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion.” Maulik Joshi, Dr.Ph.