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Innovation in Advancing Health Equity Award

Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to "attain his or her full health potential" and no one is "disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances." Health inequities and health disparities are also driven by community and environmental factors — these inequities are reflected by differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.

With advancing health equity, the goal is to reduce and eventually eliminate inequalities and disparities, so all can achieve optimal health.

When employers focus on promoting health equity and reducing health care disparities, disparate gaps in care can be eliminated — ultimately leading to a more healthy, engaged and productive workforce. Employers need to develop programs and initiatives to promote healthy behaviors to improve the overall well-being for all employees.

Purpose: To recognize companies that are helping employees or communities achieve optimal health and well-being through initiatives that reduce disparities and promote health equity. Optimal health and well-being means more than just the absence of disease and illness, it means a person's complete well-being, including his or her physical health, emotional health, financial security, social connectedness and job satisfaction.

Objective: To promote commitments to advance health equity and reduce health care disparities through workplace and/or community initiatives.

Award Submission Criteria

Criteria: Open to Business Group member and non-Business Group member organizations.

  • Non-member organizations MUST meet one of the following criteria:
    • Is a Fortune 500 company; or
    • Is in the top 100 of Forbes America's Largest Private Companies; or
    • Has at least 5,000 employees.

Essay Submission Requirements:

You may submit your essay on one specific initiative or program or multiple initiatives; if describing multiple initiatives, please be sure to answer the questions below for each initiative.

Please answer the following questions within your submission:

  • What is your company/organization approach to helping all employees achieve optimal health and well-being? Address preventive care efforts in your response.
  • How are disparities addressed in your employee population? Include specific programs and/or practices implemented to reduce health care disparities. Describe in sufficient detail partnerships with internal and/or external affinity groups.
  • How is data collected and how is this data used to address access, utilization and promote health equity among your employee population?
  • Are communications segmented and culturally and linguistically appropriate? Please describe in detail.
  • What level of participation has the program/initiative achieved to date and what information or evidence do you have of its success?
  • If available, please submit a video(s) detailing your health equity efforts. Snippets of the video will be shown during the award presentation in March.
    • Video specifications:
      1. High Resolution Video Clips
      2. Acceptable File Formats: Video files should be in an either .mp4 or .H264 format with a minimum resolution of 864 x 486 or higher (720 x 1280 is preferred).
      3. Length: 5 minutes or less
  • Other details you may include in the essay:
    • Describe environmental modifications/practices in place to support health equity (e.g., access to locally sourced/sustainably grown food, accessible and visually appealing stairwells, etc.)
    • Describe your partnership with health care plans, providers, community-based organizations/non-profits in your markets to develop innovative care models that address disparities and population needs and promote health equity.
    • Describe your future initiatives/programs to continue progressive and sustainable health disparities work. Include lessons learned and steps to achieving successful health equity programs.
  • Length and format: Three to six pages in Word/PDF. Up to four supporting materials/documents are allowed, with a maximum of five pages per document.

Submission Deadline: February 13, 2017, 5:00 pm ET (electronic submissions only)

Upload submissions here. If you are having difficulty uploading your submissions please email Joneyse Gatling at gatling@businessgrouphealth.org.

For questions please contact gatling@businessgrouphealth.org.

2016 Award Recipients

The National Business Group on Health presented the Innovation in Advancing Health Equity Award to six member companies, American Express, Cigna, GlaxoSmithKline, and Paychex, Wegmans, and Xerox for their commitment to advance health equity and reduce health care disparities through workplace and community initiatives. The awards were presented at the March 2016 Business Health Agenda conference held in Washington, DC.

For more information about the 2016 award winners, please click here.

Previous Winners
(show details)

2014 Award Recipients

The National Business Group on Health presented the 4th Annual Innovation in Reducing Health Care Disparities Award to six member companies, Aetna, Baptist Health South Florida, Vanderbilt University, and Paychex, Wegmans, and Xerox for their commitment to reduce health care disparities in the workplace and for supporting a diverse workforce. The awards were presented at the March 2014 Business Health Agenda conference held in Washington, DC.

For more information about the 2014 award winners, please click here.

2013 Award Recipients

The National Business Group on Health presented the 3rd Annual Innovation in Reducing Health Care Disparities Award to three member companies, Aetna, Highmark Inc., and Prudential Financial, for their innovative approaches to reduce health care disparities in the workplace and for supporting a diverse workforce. The awards were presented at the March 2013 Business Health Agenda conference held in Washington, DC.

For more information about the 2013 award winners, please click here.

2012 White House Business Council Recognition

On August 7th, 2012, the White House Business Council and the National Business Group on Health hosted a roundtable with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, featuring the eight winners of the 1st and 2nd Annual Award for Innovation in Reducing Health Care Disparities. General Benjamin provided a summary of their efforts in promoting health equity and health improvement for employees and their families, including working to reduce health and health care disparities. Dr. Benjamin presented each winner with the Surgeon General's prestigious gold medallion. The honorees were: Wayne Rawlins, M.D., National Medical Director, Aetna's Racial and Ethnic Equality Initiative, Aetna, Inc.; David Kasiarz, Senior Vice President, Global Compensation & Benefits, American Express; Stephanie Mills, MD, President and CEO, Franciscan Health and Wellness Services, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System; Donna Frisch, Group Leader, Health & Wellness Plans, H.J. Heinz; Audrietta Izlar, Manager, Corporate Benefits, Verizon; Mary Bradley, Director of Health Care Planning, Pitney Bowes; Christina Stasiuk, DO, National Medical Director for Health Disparities, Cigna; and William Skrzat, Senior Vice President, Compensation, Benefits & HRMS, Wyndham Worldwide. Each honoree also received a plaque which included the following statement: "Certificate of Appreciation in recognition and appreciation for efforts in implementing the goals of the National Prevention Strategy. 'Company Name' has developed innovative workplace wellness programs to significantly decease health disparities in employees and therefore improve the health of the nation."

Click here to view wonderful pictures from the event.

2012 Award Recipients

Cigna
Pitney Bowes, Inc. in partnership with UnitedHealthcare

For more information about the 2012 award winners, please click here.

2011 Award Recipients

Aetna
American Express
H.J. Heinz
The Franciscan Clinic
Verizon
Wyndham Worldwide

For more information about the 2011 award winners, please click here.

References:

Brennan Ramirez LK, Baker EA, Metzler M. Promoting Health Equity: A Resource to Help Communities Address Social Determinants of Health. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2008.

Page last updated: March 8, 2016

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