Raising the Bar on Health Equity

Today -- after over two years spent in deep co-creation with patient and family representatives, people with lived experience of inequities, advocates, and senior leaders in healthcare, behavioral health, public health, and social services -- the National Alliance to impact the Social Determinants of Health (NASDOH), the National Partnership for Women & Families, and a core group of shaping partners including RESOLVE released Raising the Bar: Healthcare’s Transforming Role.  

Convened by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Raising the Bar calls on the healthcare sector to seize all available levers, resources, and opportunities to advance health equity and offers a framework to guide transformation. Based on a broad, coherent set of foundational principles, this framework outlines essential roles and concrete actions healthcare can take to improve health and well-being while enabling all people to experience dignity and respect. 



Raising the Bar Foundational Principles 




The Raising the Bar framework is not a step-by-step playbook, but a roadmap that allows organizations across the healthcare ecosystem to apply the principles, roles, and actions to new or existing equity strategies. It can also serve as a starting point for organizations that don’t know where to begin. Leaders in health systems who reviewed the framework say it can help inform institutional goals, align community advocacy efforts, shape workforce practices, and better meet measures and regulations.

Launched in 2020, just weeks before onset of COVID-19 and months before the public outcry and global protest movements in response to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many other Black men and women, the Raising the Bar project was itself an excise in listening, learning, trust-building, and transformation. Though it took longer to form, the message and tools of Raising the Bar were strengthened tremendously by the context in which they were crafted. 

Serious action to correct inequities in healthcare is long overdue. We hope that Raising the Bar illuminates a path forward—a place for some to start, or a roadmap for others to accelerate progress—to support all healthcare stakeholders in advancing equity and excellence regardless of where they are currently on their journeys.

In coming months, the National Partnership for Women & Families will release a detailed use case of how the Raising the Bar framework can be applied in practice, using the urgent issue of improving maternal and infant health, especially among Black and Brown populations.

Learn more at

Mason Hines
RESOLVE's Healthy Communities Team

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