Henry Ford Innovations one of the nation's leading healthcare innovation programs, recently hosted the inaugural "Advancing Health Equity Through Innovation and Collaboration" event in partnership with the PINC AI™ Applied Sciences team, a leading provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and clinical research support services to the life sciences industry.
The initiative's purpose was to turn health equity conversations into action by taking measurable steps towards improving the health of millions. Participants included global leaders in life sciences, as well as Henry Ford Health innovators who are already implementing programs to address health disparities in groups who have been historically marginalized and underrepresented.
"Part of innovating is looking for partners to expand successful test programs and develop new ones. Partnerships like the ones we're forging with these corporate partners will create a true impact in addressing health equity. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share our findings with national leaders in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries and chart a path forward to bring these solutions to help more people."
Lisa Prasad, Henry Ford Health's Chief Innovation Officer and leader of Henry Ford Innovations
The two-day event in late October included a presentation of case studies from successful Henry Ford Health programs, including community-based partnerships to increase health screenings. That program found that a lack of trust in institutions can deter people from getting preventative care and that using community partners for healthcare services can reduce barriers and increase access to care. Other case studies covered programs to improve hypertension in young African American men and reduce infant mortality among underserved populations. The unique action-focused event allowed leaders from Henry Ford Health, the PINC AI™ Applied Sciences team and collaborators from eight global life sciences companies to meet, connect and work together on ways to amplify and expand pilot programs.
"The impactful work Henry Ford Health already has under way makes Detroit an ideal location to look for solutions to reduce health inequities across the country," said Denise Juliano, Life Sciences Group Vice President, PINC AI™ Applied Sciences. "PINC AI™ Applied Sciences partners with leaders in healthcare to improve health outcomes and advance equitable care for all people. This initiative was a great step forward to accelerate our efforts to address the challenges of health inequities that continue to persist."
Because of Henry Ford Health's community connections and its long-standing work to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ), the health system is a leader in researching and tackling health disparities in Detroit. In 2021, Henry Ford launched a new initiative to improve the representation of African American people in cancer clinical trials. It was an important collaboration, especially considering that recent research shows 85 percent of participants in clinical trials are white. Another program supported by HFI provides medical mentorship and internship opportunities for Detroit-based high school students. Both initiatives serve as examples of the meaningful change health and life sciences organizations can affect together.
"This initiative is an example of how Henry Ford's commitment to DEIJ extends beyond ideas and connects directly to action," said Ikenna Okereke, M.D., Henry Ford Health's Vice Chair of Surgery and Director of Thoracic Surgery. "Through Henry Ford's Department of Surgery High School Mentorship Program, I've seen firsthand how programs that work in other communities can grow for a larger impact. I'm excited to be a part of the next chapter in creating more programs and initiatives to address health disparities."
Henry Ford Health and the PINC AI™ Applied Sciences team will now work with the summit's participating partners to strengthen and scale solutions to advance health equity.
About Henry Ford Health
Serving communities across Michigan and beyond, Henry Ford Health is committed to partnering with patients and members along their entire health journey. Henry Ford Health provides a full continuum of services – from primary and preventative care, to complex and specialty care, health insurance, a full suite of home health offerings, virtual care, pharmacy, eye care and other healthcare retail.
It is one of the nation's leading academic medical centers, recognized for clinical excellence in cancer care, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and sports medicine, and multi-organ transplants. Consistently ranked among the top five National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded institutions in Michigan, Henry Ford Health engages in more than 2,000 research projects annually. Equally committed to educating the next generation of health professionals, Henry Ford Health trains more than 4,000 medical students, residents, and fellows every year across 50+ accredited programs.
With more than 33,000 valued team members, Henry Ford Health is also among Michigan's largest and most diverse employers, including nearly 6,000 physicians and researchers from the Henry Ford Medical Group, Henry Ford Physician Network and Jackson Health Network.
The health system is led by President and CEO Robert G. Riney and serves a growing number of customers across 250+ locations throughout Michigan including five acute care hospitals, two destination facilities for complex cancer and orthopedics and sports medicine care, three behavioral health facilities, primary care and urgent care centers.
About the PINC AI™ Platform
PINC AI™ is the technology and services platform of Premier Inc. With more than 20 years' worth of cost, quality and operational data gleaned from 45 percent of U.S. hospital discharges, 812 million hospital outpatient and clinic encounters and 131 million physician office visits, the PINC AI™ platform provides actionable intelligence to help improve outcomes, support improved financial performance and enable success in new, alternative payment models. PINC AI™ offerings rely on advanced analytics to identify improvement opportunities, consulting services for clinical and operational design, and workflow solutions to hardwire sustainable change. The PINC AI™ platform is also the data engine powering Premier's newest brands – Remitra™ and Contigo Health®.