Kaufman Hall recently held a virtual health care leadership conference in which Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System, Eugene Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health System, and Kendra Smith, managing director, Moody’s Public Finance Group, discussed the key role hospitals and health systems can play in addressing social determinants of health, improving health outcomes for communities of color and fostering conversations to help individuals better understand diverse points of view.

Hundreds of thousands of people die every year due to social inequities or disparities, many of which are caused by structural issues in society, said Woods, who served as the chair of the AHA Board of Trustees in 2017. Taking a holistic approach to addressing affordable housing, food insecurity and increasing health access points is key, he added.

Lassiter, who is the chair-elect designate of the AHA Board of Trustees, underscored the importance of investing in upstream interventions and creating safe spaces for individuals to share their points of view, stories and life experiences. In addition, he shared his optimism for the future based on conversations he is having at the board level in which allies are helping to move the needle forward and acknowledging that society collectively must do better.

Watch the panel discussion by clicking here.

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