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Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity

Congratulations 2022 Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity Co-Awardees

The Joint Commission and Kaiser Permanente have named NYC Health + Hospitals, New York, and Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, Houston, TX as co-awardees of the 2022 Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity.

The award, named for late Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO and champion for healthcare equity Bernard J. Tyson, recognizes healthcare organizations and their partners that led initiatives that achieved a measurable, sustained reduction in one or more healthcare disparities.


NYC Health + Hospitals is recognized for its initiative Making Healthcare a Human Right: Expanding Access to Healthcare to Undocumented New Yorkers. In 2019, NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal healthcare system in the nation, launched NYC Care, a citywide healthcare access program for New Yorkers who are ineligible for or cannot afford health insurance, including undocumented individuals. The city estimates that there over 400,000 undocumented immigrants who are uninsured and are more likely to forego essential primary and preventive care.

NYC Care provides access to low or no-cost primary and specialty care, prescription medicines, member materials in multiple languages, a membership card, and a 24-hour customer service line. The program leverages a system-wide integrated electronic medical record system, e-referral system, and telehealth platforms to provide high-quality, coordinated care to NYC Care members.


This initiative:
  • Enrolled more than 100,000 members, who made 264,976 primary care visits and 227,481 specialty visits by February 2022.
  • Improved clinical outcomes: After six months of enrollment, 51% of enrollees with diabetes had improved hemoglobin A1C, and 68% of enrollees with hypertension had improved blood pressure.

Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is recognized for its initiative Quality Improvement Initiatives on Decreasing Racial Disparities in Maternal Morbidity.

In March 2019, Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women began stratifying data by race and ethnicity and determined that non-Hispanic Black women had the highest rates of severe maternal morbidity from hemorrhage (SMM-H). A gap analysis identified interventions to reduce morbidity from hemorrhage for all pregnant patients, including hemorrhage risk assessment, drills, active management of the third stage of labor, and a multidisciplinary review of serious hemorrhages to identify systematic issues. A health equity lens was applied to these efforts and Black/African American race was added as a medium risk factor for hemorrhage to help address implicit bias and accelerate healthcare team response.

Prior to implementation of these strategies, there was a statistically significant difference between Black and White women for SMM-H rates (p<0.001). This disparity was no longer significant post-intervention (p=0.138), and the rate of SMM-H in Black women decreased significantly from 45.5% to 31.6% (p=0.011). This team’s initiative was described In further detail in Examining the effect of quality improvement initiatives on decreasing racial disparities in maternal morbidity which was published in BMJ Quality & Safety.

To see The Joint Commission/Kaiser Permanente’s joint press release about these Co-Awardees, visit this page.

Recognizing Organizations that Submitted Applications for the 2022 Award

The Joint Commission and Kaiser Permanente extend our gratitude to all organizations that submitted an application for consideration in 2022. We applaud your dedication, impressive efforts, and combined results to improve healthcare disparities for patients nationwide.

Award Ceremony for 2022 Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity

The awardees will be recognized in a public, virtual award ceremony on November 29 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. CT. During the ceremony, each organization will provide high-level details about their initiatives and share takeaways and best practices that other organizations can adapt and implement to address healthcare disparities within their own settings.

About

Bernard J. Tyson, the late chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente, worked tirelessly to address the health care disparities that plague the U.S. health care system. To honor his memory, The Joint Commission and Kaiser Permanente established The Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity. This annual award recognizes health care organizations that directly deliver health care and their partners that led initiatives that achieved a measurable, sustained reduction in one or more health care disparities. 

Previous Award Recipients

The Joint Commission and Kaiser Permanente wish to inspire organizations to implement healthcare equity improvement efforts and sharing details of previous efforts can help others to recognize potential improvements they can champion in their own organizations. We wish to recognize previous recipients and applicants for their impressive work to reduce healthcare disparities.

Award Ceremony

An online award ceremony was held on November 19, 2021 to recognize the UMass Memorial Health team for their initiative that received the inaugural award. To view the recording of this award ceremony, click the button below.

Tyson Review Panel

A diverse panel of national healthcare equity experts has been charged to review the submitted Tyson Award applications and select the award recipient.

Questions?

Questions about the Tyson Award program can be submitted by email: