The organizations will collaborate on efforts to connect hospital and health system CEOs with local Urban League leaders interested in opportunities to serve on governing boards at hospitals and health systems, develop resources for the field and share best practices on community health worker (CHW) programs, and promote shared policy solutions to persistent challenges that affect the health of vulnerable communities.

“To truly advance health in America, we must improve the quality of care for everybody, in every community,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “These efforts begin by focusing on greater equity of care and more diversity in health care leadership. The AHA has long been committed to this goal, and I’m excited for what this partnership will mean for hospitals across the country.”

“Disparities in health care don’t just carry a human cost in higher levels of illness, disability and death, but also billions of dollars in lost economic activity,” NUL President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “This cost is borne overwhelmingly by African-Americans in higher health care spending, and, tragically, significantly higher levels of illness, disability and death. Addressing diversity in health care leadership is an important step in shrinking the health care gap, and I look forward to a productive and successful partnership with the AHA.”

While working with hospital CEOs and NUL leaders interested in opportunities to serve on hospital and health system governing boards, the AHA will provide support and education to NUL leaders throughout the process creating a replicable model for communities across the country.