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Mission Statement

Save lives and reduce suffering by improving sepsis awareness and care.

Vision Statement

A world in which no one is harmed by sepsis.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Pledge

Sepsis Alliance is committed to fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in our work and in the sepsis care community. 

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

Equity: We commit to working actively to challenge and respond to bias, racism, and discrimination in sepsis care, in health education, and in support of those impacted by sepsis.

Diversity: We commit to increasing diversity, which is expressed in many forms, including race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status, and life experiences, in all areas of our organization.

Inclusion: We commit to working to ensure that Sepsis Alliance is an organization that welcomes differences, and all individuals feel valued, heard, and supported.

We recognize that historical and societal systems and community resource disparities create stark healthcare gaps, including in sepsis care. For example, studies show staggering racial and ethnic disparities in sepsis awareness, as well as incidence, care and outcomes:

  • Black individuals bear nearly twice the burden of sepsis deaths, relative to the size of the Black population, as compared to white individuals.[i][ii] 
  • Children with severe sepsis or septic shock who are Black or Hispanic are approximately 25% more likely to die than non-Hispanic white children.[iii] 
  • Asian and Pacific Islander patients are 18% more likely to die from sepsis than white patients.[iv] 
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives in the Indian Health Service area are 1.6 times more likely to die from sepsis than the national average.[v] 
  • Non-Hispanic Black children admitted to the emergency room are less likely to be treated for sepsis than non-Hispanic white children.[vi] 
  • In a recent survey conducted by Sepsis Alliance, only 49% of respondents identifying as Black had heard the term “sepsis,” as compared to 76% of white-identifying respondents.[vii] 

As part of the larger healthcare sector, Sepsis Alliance bears responsibility for working to address these disparities and health inequities. Ensuring equitable sepsis care for those who have been historically marginalized, including BIPOC individuals (individuals who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color) and other members of racial and ethnic minoritized groups aligns with our mission to reduce harm caused by sepsis through advocacy, education, and public awareness.

As such, we commit to fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion in our educational offerings (for the public and for healthcare providers), in our advocacy initiatives, and in our organizational structure. We commit to striving to be an EDI leader in the healthcare sector and to using our organizational voice to bolster equity, diversity, and inclusion across the continuum of sepsis care.

Below find Sepsis Alliance’s EDI plan: 

1. Expand public education and provider training in service of closing racial and ethnic gaps in sepsis awareness and addressing inequities in sepsis care, and create support resources for all those impacted by sepsis:

  • Increase partnerships with organizations that serve historically marginalized communities and other racial and ethnic minoritized communities to best distribute public sepsis education;
  • Work toward narrowing gaps in public awareness of sepsis by creating intentional education campaigns for a variety of cultures;
  • Diversify our network of subject matter experts with a focus on collaborating with professionals from communities of color;
  • Include implicit bias curricula in Sepsis Alliance Institute courses;
  • Integrate health inequity discussion into provider education whenever possible;
  • Include diverse voices in the development of support resources;
  • Continue updating the organization style guide to use inclusive language in all of our communication, as it relates to race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, (dis)ability status, and anywhere else applicable.

2. Pursue advocacy initiatives that further EDI goals and strive to be an EDI leader in the healthcare sector:

  • Create and disseminate an industry equity, diversity, and inclusion pledge;
  • Create an industry equity, diversity, and inclusion reporting platform;
  • Continue to host and engage in industry conversations around EDI and pursue new advocacy initiatives that further EDI goals whenever possible;
  • Continue to vocalize our support for EDI work throughout the sepsis healthcare community across the continuum of care.

3. Advance diversity and inclusion within Sepsis Alliance to better reflect the communities we serve, and better support our team and constituents:

  • Integrate equity, diversity, and inclusion into the Sepsis Alliance charter;
  • Establish EDI steering committee to coordinate and implement plans and programs regarding equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • Conduct annual EDI training for Sepsis Alliance staff, Board of Directors, and Advisory Board;
  • Increase the racial and ethnic diversity of individuals involved in the ongoing “Faces of Sepsis” project by identifying and collaborating with partner health organizations serving minoritized communities;
  • Increase diversity of the combined Sepsis Alliance staff, Board of Directors, and Advisory Board, by diversifying recruitment channels, adapting hiring initiatives to focus on recruiting and retaining diverse talent (including women, BIPOC, LGBTQ individuals, veterans and any other underrepresented individuals), and expanding our network of partner organizations who serve BIPOC and other minoritized communities;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of Sepsis Alliance’s recruiting methods to attract qualified, diverse applicant pools for open positions on an annual basis;
  • Work to create an inclusive environment for staff, volunteers, and all those impacted by or working with Sepsis Alliance.

 

Learn more about disparities in sepsis care in the Sepsis and Equity Fact Sheet.

 

[i] Kempker, J. A., Kramer, M. R., Waller, L. A. and Martin, G. S. (2018) Risk Factors for Septicemia Deaths and Disparities in a Longitudinal US Cohort, Open Forum Infectious Diseases,5(12), ofy305. 

[ii] Mayr, F. B., Yende, S., Linde-Zwirble, W. T., Peck-Palmer, O. M., Barnato, A. E., Weissfeld,L. A. and Angus, D. C. (2010) Infection rate and acute organ dysfunction risk as explanations for racial differences in severe sepsis, JAMA,303(24), 2495-503. 

[iii] Thavamani, A., Umapathi, K. K., Dhanpalreddy, H., Khatana, J., Chotikanatis, K., Allareddy, V. and Roy, A. (2020) Epidemiology, Clinical and Microbiologic Profile and Risk Factors for Inpatient Mortality in Pediatric Severe Sepsis in the United States From 2003 to 2014: A Large Population Analysis, Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal,39(9), 781-788. 

[iv] Jones, J. M., Fingar, K. R., Miller, M. A., Coffey, R., Barrett, M., Flottemesch, T., Heslin, K. C., Gray, D. T. and Moy, E.(2017) Racial Disparities in Sepsis-Related In-Hospital Mortality: Using a Broad Case Capture Method and Multivariate Controls for Clinical and Hospital Variables, 2004-2013, Critical Care Medicine,45(12), e1209-e1217. 

[v] Disparities. (2019, October) https://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/factsheets/disparities/ 

[vi] Raman, J., Johnson, T. J., Hayes, K. and Balamuth, F. (2019) Racial Differences in Sepsis Recognition in the Emergency Department, Pediatrics, 144(4), e20190348. 

[vii] Sepsis Alliance Awareness Survey. (2020) https://www.sepsis.org/2020-sepsis-awareness-survey/