Our Journey


Inaugural Associate DIO for Health Equity and Inclusion, GME

Our journey began with the appointment of Jaya Aysola as the first Associate Designated Institutional Official (DIO) for Health Equity and Inclusion at Penn Medicine, within the Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME). Her vision was to develop training for housestaff and other health system stakeholders about health equity alongside developing health system priorities to advance health equity. To achieve that vision, Dr. Aysola established the first Health Equity Taskforce, introduced Health Equity Week and created the Blueprint for Health Equity and Inclusion.

Established the First Penn Medicine Health Equity Taskforce

The Penn Medicine Health Equity Taskforce aimed to ensure high quality patient and family-centered care for all populations, promote workforce diversity, and cultivate safe and inclusive learning and clinical environments through collaboration with internal stakeholders and community partners. To achieve its mission, the Taskforce guided the development of the Blueprint for Health Equity and Inclusion. The Taskforce oversaw the implementation of the Blueprint’s priority action items through its four committees; Workforce, Data and Evaluation, Education and Community Engagement.

Introduced Annual Health Equity Week

Health Equity Week is a Penn Medicine annual educational event aimed to raise awareness and promote learning around health equity and innovative solutions to address health and health care disparities. The week is composed of lectures, interactive workshops, poster presentations and symposia across the health system. Health Equity week was established in 2016 by the Penn Office of Graduate Medical Education in collaboration with the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and the Office of the CMO and is a unique opportunity to engage all levels of health system employees in critical discussions.

Created the Blueprint for Health Equity and Inclusion

The Blueprint for Health Equity and Inclusion, modeled after the Penn Medicine Blueprint for Quality and Patient Safety, details three imperatives and associated priority action items centered on providing high quality patient- and family-centered care to all patients regardless of personal characteristics. Penn Medicine adopted the Blueprint in 2016 during Health Equity Week in an effort to chart our course towards achieving Health Equity.


Signed AHA Equity Pledge

In 2017, Penn Medicine signed the American Hospital Association #123 for Equity Campaign Pledge to Eliminate Health Care Disparities to reaffirm and build upon our existing commitment to achieving health equity here at Penn Medicine. The Pledge urges hospital and health system leaders to continue to develop and implement strategies to increase the collection and use of race, ethnicity, and language preference and sociodemographic data; advance cultural competency training; and increase diversity in leadership and governance.

Launch of REAL/SOGI Data Collection

In 2016, the Penn Medicine Program for LGBT Health partnered with the Associate DIO for Health Equity and Inclusion and the Director for Enterprise Scheduling and Registration for Penn Medicine to convene interdisciplinary working groups around sexual orientation and gender identity (SO/GI) and race, ethnicity, and language (REAL) data collection planning and implementation efforts. These data collection fields went live in the EHR of all Penn Medicine entities in August 2017.

Establishing a Baseline: Health System Assessments

To define the current state of health equity and inclusion across Penn Medicine and inform our path forward, we implemented a series of assessments: AAMC Diversity Engagement Survey, Institute for Healthcare Improvement Health Equity Self-Assessment Tool, Vizient HIIN Health Equity Organizational Assessment, Qualitative Interviews of Executive Leadership across Penn Medicine.


Introduced Equity Training Module

“Health Equity at Penn Medicine: Applying Cultural Humility” is a documentary style e-learning module featuring Penn Medicine patients, staff, experts, and leaders. The module is designed for clinical and non-clinical personnel and introduces concepts integral to achieving health equity using local examples and provides evidence-based, up-to-date curricula on cultural humility and unconscious bias.


Established Social Determinants of Health Enterprise-Wide Workgroup

Our Center was charged by CMO’s across Penn Medicine entities with partnering across the enterprise, inpatient and outpatient care settings, to develop and deploy standard practices for implementing assessments of social needs/social determinants of health (SDOH) at point-of-care with support and referral interventions for positive screens.

Center for Health Equity Advancement Inception

Through the Penn Medicine Center for Health Equity Advancement, Penn Medicine has have affirmed their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by providing the infrastructure needed to educate, innovate, and advance efforts designed to eliminate health and healthcare disparities.

Key Partnerships