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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Health Care

This Hub includes information to help our members and the public stay informed on this very important issue, with a goal of providing in-depth analysis that furthers conversations necessary to facilitate change. 

For public resources, access the CDC's Website on Racism and Health.

Just Released

Healthy Cultures, Lasting Change: Nurturing an Effective DEI&B Program (Webinar, September 21, 2021) - Recording Coming Soon
This webinar will describe key trends, discuss the legal framework, guardrails, and hypotheticals for developing DE&I programming to mitigate risk, and then share tried-and-true structures and strategies around effective DEI&B (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) programs in health care. We’ll include a discussion on setting achievable strategic goals, the effective use of Employee Resource Groups, and how effective programming was forced to change during the pandemic to nourish workplace cultures in new ways despite distributed workforces and to respond to calls for enhanced equity.

Disparities in Health Care: The Pandemic’s Lessons for Health Lawyers
From the 2021 edition of Health Law Watch, this chapter analyzes the following key developments that the authors predict will affect equitable access to health care in the United States: The ongoing pandemic response and the disparate access to U.S. health care systems that it reveals; the ongoing expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the breadth of exceptions to federal requirements granted to state Medicaid programs; the continuing evolution in publicly-funded health insurance toward payment models that reward positive health outcomes (and punish poor ones); and the ongoing debate over federal law preventing discrimination in health care eligibility and delivery of care.

Equity in Health Care and Health Law Practice

Conversations with Health Law Leaders

David S. Cade, Executive Vice President and CEO of AHLA, sat down with prominent health law leaders on May 25, 2021 to discuss how we, as a community, can improve equity in health care and health law practice. These interview excerpts and full interviews are now available

Convener on Racial Disparities in Health Care

AHLA hosted a one-day virtual convener on April 12, 2021 where participants discussed all aspects of health disparities and equity in health care, social determinants of health, the impact of law on these issues, and what can be done to address these issues now and in the future.

AHLA conveners are nonpartisan roundtables that provide a neutral forum for the frank and candid exchange of views and analyses among approximately 10-15 thought leader experts, in addition to session moderators. While the convener was closed to the public, the video recording is now available so that AHLA members and the public will reap the benefit of listening to the robust discussion.

AHLA Analysis

AHLA Podcasts

Top Ten 2021: A Movement Toward Racial Equity in Health Outcomes (Speaking of Health Law Podcast, March 26, 2021)
Based on AHLA’s annual Health Law Connections article, this special series brings together thought leaders from across the health law field to discuss the top ten issues of 2021. In the third episode, Annapoorani Bhat, PYA, speaks to Dawn Hunter, Network for Public Health Law, about current racial disparities in health care and how to promote racial equity in health outcomes. They discuss how health care disparities currently manifest in the United States, ways to classify and frame racial bias, legislative and policy actions that have impacted health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities, and what hospitals and individuals can do to address this issue. Sponsored by PYA.

Women in the Law: Practice in the Pandemic and Beyond (Speaking of Health Law Podcast, March 1, 2021)
Delphine O’Rourke, Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP, speaks to Roberta Liebenberg, Partner, Fine Kaplan and Black, and Stephanie Scharf, Partner, Scharf Banks Marmor LLC, about their pioneering development of surveys dedicated to evaluating the experiences of women lawyers. They analyze the factors that have impacted the careers of women lawyers, such as how the current pandemic has disrupted their careers; the strategies legal employers need to develop to retain and enhance a diverse group of lawyers, including ways to assess and revamp their cultures, policies, and practices; and strategies for women lawyers to self-advocate. From AHLA’s Women’s Leadership Council.

Health Law After George Floyd, Part 2 (Speaking of Health Law Podcast, February 11, 2021)
Thomas J. Wronski, Director of Legal Talent Solutions, EBG Advisors, speaks to Ricardo Johnson, Vice President at Healthworx at CareFirst BCBS, and Clifford Barnes, Member, Epstein Becker & Green PC, about how law firm practice has changed after the events of 2020, including diversity efforts, how best to develop a minority talent pipeline, and how to set up an environment of inclusion. The speakers also discuss the need to share perspectives and the importance of mentors, and Ricardo and Cliff share their stories about their paths to becoming lawyers. Sponsored by EBG Advisors.

Health Law After George Floyd, Part 1 (Speaking of Health Law Podcast, February 8, 2021)
Thomas J. Wronski, Director of Legal Talent Solutions, EBG Advisors, speaks to Ricardo Johnson, Vice President at Healthworx at CareFirst BCBS, and Clifford Barnes, Member, Epstein Becker & Green PC, about their own career experiences and how they got to where they are now. The podcast discusses the corporate perspective on what changed in 2020, including that companies are paying more attention to structural racism and diversity, how COVID-19 is impacting minority communities disproportionately, and how companies can target resources. The speakers also discuss the concept of social capital and how Black Americans can leverage it. Sponsored by EBG Advisors

Professional Development in a Crisis (Speaking of Health Law Podcast, September 30, 2020)
Jeff Wurzburg, Senior Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright, speaks to Lori Mihalich-Levin, Partner, Dentons and Founder of Mindful Return, Yusuf Zakir, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Holland & Knight LLP, and Steve Seckler, President, Seckler Legal Recruiting and Coaching, about how the COVID-19 public health crisis abruptly changed the outlook for 2020 and created new challenges for business and professional development. From AHLA’s Payers, Plans, and Managed Care Practice Group.

Racial Disparities in Health Care (Speaking of Health Law Podcast, August 21, 2020)
Sarah Swank, Counsel, Nixon Peabody LLP, David Cade, CEO, American Health Law Association, Montrece Ransom, Team Lead, Training and Workforce Development, Public Health Law Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dawn Hunter, Deputy Director, Southeastern Region Office, The Network for Public Health Law, discuss the impact of racial disparities in health care, both pre- and post-COVID. Sponsored by Huron Consulting Group.

AHLA Thought Leadership

AHLA Program Sessions and Webinars

Access to Care and Health Care Disparities (Academic Medical Centers and Teaching Hospitals Institute, January 26, 2021) - Access Recording

Healthy Cultures, Lasting Change: Nurturing an Effective DEI&B Program (Webinar, September 21, 2021) - Recording Coming Soon
This webinar will describe key trends, discuss the legal framework, guardrails, and hypotheticals for developing DE&I programming to mitigate risk, and then share tried-and-true structures and strategies around effective DEI&B (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) programs in health care. We’ll include a discussion on setting achievable strategic goals, the effective use of Employee Resource Groups, and how effective programming was forced to change during the pandemic to nourish workplace cultures in new ways despite distributed workforces and to respond to calls for enhanced equity.

Accessibility and Equity in Health Care (Webinar, July 14, 2021) - Purchase Recording
Health disparities in our communities have finally become the concern of the average media outside that of public health law experts and professionals. Yet the health disparities and social exclusion experienced by historically marginalized Americans predates the pandemic and federal anti-discrimination law and policy. A documentable amount of law, policy, and even personal story demands the attention of health law professionals. This webinar spotlighted issues around inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, as well as discussed the removal of barriers to people with disabilities in health care.

Health Equity in Clinical Trials (February 11, 2021) - Purchase Recording
This on-demand webinar addresses health equity issues in research and clinical trials and the need for better representation and involvement of underrepresented groups.

Diversity in the Health Care Workforce and Taking Stock of the Legal Risks After COVID-19 (February 9, 2021) - Purchase Recording
The discussion focuses on the knowledge gained and the changes made in the months since the pandemic started, and how recent developments, such as new Department of Labor regulations issued September 11, affect who qualifies for emergency paid sick leave and other benefits covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and other existing laws.

Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Minority Populations (January 27, 2021) - Purchase Recording
This on-demand webinar discusses some of the potential reasons for the disproportionate impact—access to testing, treatment, and information; longstanding mistrust of health care institutions; lack of health care fluency or advocacy; and adoption (or lack thereof) of telemedicine modalities—and potential ramifications for failing to address these differences.

What Hospitals Need to Know About Disparities in Women’s and Maternal Health Care After COVID (January 12, 2021) - Purchase Recording
Causes of morbidity and mortality for women, expectant mothers, and babies are complex and include lack of consistent access to comprehensive care and persistent racial and economic disparities in health and health care. During this pandemic, vulnerable populations face heightened risk due to the social, economic, and clinical complexities of managing the spread and treatment of infectious disease. This on-demand webinar provides an overview of recent legislative and regulatory actions and proposals, how they may develop, and what they may mean for providers and patients in this time of pandemic.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Health Law Bar: Intentional Partnerships (December 3, 2020) - Purchase Recording
This on-demand webinar dives into the data that demonstrates the long-standing and ongoing inequities in our profession and the history of DEI efforts in both large and small private practices and in-house legal departments. We will explore the differences between well-intended programs and intentional programs that are specifically designed to drive meaningful progress. Participants will come away with practical strategies to partner and be catalysts for DEI in our profession.

Upcoming Special Issue of AHLA's Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law

Coming December 2021, a Journal special issue on Emerging Issues in Health Equity in the United States: Legal, Legislative and Policy Perspectives. This special issue is aimed at making a meaningful contribution to the policy discussion of these issues for the benefit of AHLA members, the academic community, and policy decision makers in both the legislative and executive branches of government. 

Call for Topics

AHLA is issuing a call for volunteers to propose topics on the law as it relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion in health care, for program sessions, webinars, articles, podcasts, and more. Submit a topic and help lead the conversation. 

Submit a Topic