Year One Check-In: Sepsis Alliance’s Pledge to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
January 28, 2022
In early 2021, Sepsis Alliance released a pledge to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in our work and organization. The mission of Sepsis Alliance is to save lives and reduce suffering by improving sepsis awareness and care. This commitment to help close gaps in sepsis awareness, incidence, treatment access, and patient outcomes along racial and ethnic lines, and to strive for more diversity and inclusion in our programming, is vital to our mission.
To read the announcement of our pledge and some of the startling disparities that led us to pursue this action, view the release here. You can also download the Sepsis and Equity fact sheet that spearheaded our pledge here.
The three focus areas of our pledge include:
- Expand public education and provider training in service of closing racial and ethnic gaps in sepsis awareness and ensuring culturally responsive sepsis care.
- Pursue advocacy initiatives that further EDI goals and act as an EDI leader in the healthcare sector.
- Advance diversity within Sepsis Alliance to better reflect the communities we serve.
January 2022 marks one year since implementing our pledge, and we would like to share some of the ways we have acted on our pledge.
1. Public Education and Provider Training
- Sepsis Alliance created a Health Equity Communications internship program aimed at auditing sepsis.org content and modifying our site and resources to be more inclusive. Additionally, this internship is supporting the development of a multicultural sepsis education campaign with content developed specifically for medically underserved communities and communities that have been marginalized. This work is ongoing.
- Our Sepsis and Children content, which is available for free download online, was translated into Spanish. Additionally, these resources were printed and distributed to eight hospitals at no cost to them.
- Two educational sessions related to health equity were presented to our medical provider audience, also at no cost. One was presented as a free-standing webinar and the other was included in our Sepsis Tech & Innovation conference offerings.
- The Sepsis Alliance Summit included sessions and conversations related to health equity.
- Multiple free, downloadable resources were translated into Traditional Chinese.
- Language on sepsis.org was updated to be more inclusive of a diverse group of people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. Additionally, it was updated to be more inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions.
2. Advocacy Initiatives
- Sepsis Alliance worked with the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project to share scientifically accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines with all communities, with a special focus on underserved communities.
- We supported CA AB1038, a measure to establish a health equity grant program in California.
- Sepsis Alliance also created and launched an industry-wide EDI pledge for all health organizations working on sepsis and/or drug-resistant infections, to help reduce disparities in diagnosis, treatment, and care. To date, 12 companies, nonprofits, and organizations have taken the pledge.
3. Sepsis Alliance Policies
- In 2021, Sepsis Alliance incorporated EDI into our core mission, ensuring continued conversations on EDI in all aspects of our work.
- We established an EDI Steering Committee who helped develop the internal pledge and continues to guide the organization on decisions to improve EDI culture.
- A new hiring policy was implemented, which requires us to expand and analyze our recruitment strategies.
- We developed relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to share internship opportunities directly with their Masters of Public Health (MPH) students.
- The Board of Directors and staff of Sepsis Alliance completed implicit bias training. The recording was also shared with the Advisory Board.
- A stipend request form for volunteers was developed.
- To help us measure recruitment and engagement practices, a data working group was established to help identify where and how to ask protected information questions on Sepsis Alliance forms.
- A demographics survey was sent to the Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and staff for the first time, in order to measure how our recruitment and retention efforts are working to attract and retain diverse talent. This will become an annual practice.
While we made positive strides in 2021, we understand there is much more work to do. We will continue pushing the organization to further equity, diversity, and inclusion, “so more survive.”
Is your company, organization, or nonprofit working to mitigate the global challenges associated with sepsis, antimicrobial resistance, or its underlying causes? We encourage you to join our health equity pledge at http://HealthEquityPledge.org.