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CommonSpirit Health Announces Lloyd H. Dean Institute for Humankindness & Health Justice

On Dec. 9, Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health announced via a press release the launch of the Lloyd H. Dean Institute for Humankindness & Health Justice. The institute will focus on “the power of humankindness to treat the social causes of poor health and advance health justice.”

The institute is named after former CEO Lloyd H. Dean, who retired in August. In his time as CEO, Dean committed to health equity and the power of humankindness.

Named for former CommonSpirit Health CEO Lloyd H. Dean, who retired in August, the institute celebrates and advances Dean’s long-standing commitment to health equity and the power of humankindness. Alisahah Jackson, M.,D., who most recently held the title of system vice president for population health innovation and policy at CommonSpirit, will be the institute’s first president. Jackson previously served as the chief community impact officer at Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health.

The press release says that “Ongoing social and public health crises have both revealed and deepened persistent inequities and disparities. The Institute will serve as a convener and catalyst for health justice and humankindness initiatives happening across CommonSpirit in areas including clinical, workforce development, and community . The institute’s programmatic work will center around four key areas:

  • Leveraging the science of humankindness to address systemic barriers to good health. The institute will fund new research into how kindness, empathy and trust can be leveraged in health settings to improve outcomes among diverse populations;
  • Building healthier communities, aligned with CommonSpirit’s mission to improve the health of the most vulnerable among us. The institute will help coordinate the work of community health initiatives addressing the social determinants of health to align with clinical approaches;
  • Developing a more diverse health care workforce that can meet the health and social needs of future generations, and that reflects the communities served by CommonSpirit Health. The institute will bolster CommonSpirit’s industry-leading programs seeking to diversify the health care workforce with academic partners across the country, while also working to grow the number of organizations the health system partners with;
  • Accelerating health justice research in order to eliminate disparities in health care and work toward a future in which everyone has a chance to be healthy. The institute will seek to align data and reporting techniques with clinical initiatives that are seeking to reduce race-based health disparities, while addressing social issues that also contribute to these inequities.”

The Institute will first be funded through a $50 million campaign launched by the CommonSpirit Health Foundation earlier this year.

Jackson was quoted in the release saying that “We are leveraging the science of kindness, compassion, empathy and trust to accelerate health equity and social justice. The formation of the institute comes at a crucial moment for our industry—when we must focus on doing maximum good in our communities, while focusing on our shared humanity.”

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