American Heart Association, Deloitte Health Equity Institute launch initiative to help advance health equity in the workforce 

March 14, 2023 – Health inequities can be detrimental to employees’ emotional, psychological and physical health and place a significant economic burden on employers. To improve employee well-being and reduce health inequities nationwide, the American Heart Association—a global force for longer, healthier lives for all—introduces the Health Equity in the Workforce initiative in collaboration with the Deloitte Health Equity Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation. 

The Health Equity in the Workforce initiative will combine insights from diverse business leaders and the latest science to develop guidance and tools to help advance health equity in the workplace. The work will include convening employers and community organizations to drive action, providing tools to measure the impact of health equity strategies and recognizing organizational achievements to incentivize change across the business landscape. By 2025, the initiative aims to enable positive health outcomes for 10 million U.S. workers, roughly 10% of the workforce who earn less than the national median income. 

Health equity is the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to live a healthy life, a far cry from the reality that generations of Americans have experienced. Health and well-being are highly individualized experiences, with economic, environmental and social conditions—including years of structural discrimination and systemic barriers—contributing to disparities in health outcomes. 

Research shows that addressing the drivers of health inequities can help employers improve workplace well-being, increase employee engagement and productivity, and lower health care costs. Health inequities account for roughly $320 billion in annual U.S. health care spending and counting, according to recent analysis from Deloitte. 

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