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Pledge for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

In the Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance, Sepsis, and its Underlying Causes

In 2020, Sepsis Alliance began deepening its involvement in the area of sepsis care equity, in order to address the staggering disparities in sepsis awareness, incidence, treatment access, and outcomes along racial and ethnic lines. Native American patients are 2.39 times more likely to be readmitted following a sepsis hospitalization than white patients, for example; Hispanic individuals experience 1.1 times the rate of severe sepsis as compared to white individuals; and Black individuals bear nearly twice the burden of sepsis deaths, relative to the size of the Black population, as compared to white individuals.  What’s more, drug-resistant infections—from which 700,000 people die annually, and which pose a growing threat to sepsis prevention and treatment—also disproportionately impact populations of color. For instance, in the U.S., Black patients are twice as likely to die from severe infections driven by antibiotic resistance as compared to white patients. Many of these deaths are sepsis deaths.

We developed an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) pledge to help close these gaps, augment our mission statement, and continue making good on our initial and enduring promise: to reduce the suffering caused by sepsis. We see this as a vital step toward becoming a more equitable and capable health sector organization. It is also only a preliminary step, the beginning of more expansive work in this sphere in the years to come.

Sepsis Alliance now invites our partners who work to mitigate the global challenges associated with AMR, sepsis, or its underlying causes (including bacterial infections, fungal infections, parasitic infections, and viral infections like COVID-19), to join us. The need to foster health equity within these areas is great and warrants our significant attention and action, in everything from infectious disease research to vaccine distribution to sepsis care advocacy.

Those of us in this fight must ensure better, more culturally competent, and more accessible healthcare for all people. Below, signatories can pledge their commitment to this effort. They will then have the opportunity to develop a plan for actionable and sustainable changes, and to report on their progress.

This is a critical, life-saving fight; we hope you’ll join us by pledging your commitment below.

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(SIGNATORY) commits to helping reduce health disparities, such as racial and ethnic disparities, as they relate to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), sepsis, or its underlying causes.

(SIGNATORY) pledges to help mitigate the impacts of AMR, sepsis, or its underlying causes on disproportionately affected communities by making actionable and sustainable changes in the area(s) most applicable to its work.

(SIGNATORY), as part of the larger health sector, acknowledges its shared responsibility for helping to improve healthcare for all people.

Sepsis Alliance gratefully acknowledges support from Pfizer for the creation of this pledge.

In order to be considered a pledge partner and to remain so, signatories will be expected to:

  1. Fill out the preliminary form below, pledging your commitment to fostering EDI;
  2. Reply to the follow-up email that will come from Sepsis Alliance (pledge@sepsis.org) in the next few business days, providing us with further information about how you will be enacting the pledge (Sepsis Alliance will not share this information without prior approval);
  3. Follow up with Sepsis Alliance to report on equity progress (Sepsis Alliance will not share this information without prior approval).

See below for our lists of suggested actions by industry

MEDICAL AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

For those whose work includes medical research and data collection related to AMR, sepsis, or its underlying causes suggested goals are: to drive diverse participation in longitudinal studies and other medical research; to increase statistical representation of all racial and ethnic groups in registries and other collected health data; and to increase diversity within signatory’s organization. Action items might include:

  • Set target for inclusion of racially and ethnically diverse participants in longitudinal studies and other medical research;
  • Set target for inclusion of racially and ethnically diverse patients in the collection and applied use of health data;
  • Increase partnerships with advocates/advocacy organizations;
  • Implement/expand EDI training for executives, Board of Directors, advisory boards, and other personnel;
  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity of organizational leadership, governance, and/or those involved in study design to better reflect communities served;
  • Incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion into organizational mission statement, charter, values, etc.
MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY, DIAGNOSTICS, AND PHARMACEUTICALS

For those whose work includes the production and/or distribution of medical devices, technology, pharmaceuticals, or other products that help mitigate AMR, sepsis, or its underlying causes, suggested goals are: to drive diverse participation in clinical trials; to better reach and educate diverse communities about products; to make products more accessible; and to increase diversity within signatory’s organization. Action items might include:

  • Set target for inclusion of racially and ethnically diverse participants in clinical trials;
  • Develop targeted communications strategy for improving public education within underserved/communities of color;
  • Develop targeted strategy for making products more accessible to underserved/communities of color;
  • Increase partnerships with advocates/advocacy organizations;
  • Implement/expand EDI training for executives, Board of Directors, advisory boards, and other personnel;
  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity of organizational leadership, governance, and/or those involved in clinical trial design to better reflect communities served;
  • Incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion into organizational mission statement, charter, values, etc.
PROVISION OF CARE AND HEALTH SYSTEMS

For those who facilitate the direct delivery of medical care—especially care related to AMR, sepsis, or its underlying causes — suggested goals are: to increase provider/facilitator knowledge of implicit bias, care disparity, and other EDI topics; to enable providers/facilitators to give all patients culturally competent care; to partner with advocates and organizations within patient communities; and to increase diversity within signatory’s organization. Action items might include:

  • Implement/expand training for healthcare providers/facilitators in implicit bias, structural racism, care disparity, and other EDI topics;
  • Increase/strengthen partnerships with advocates and organizations within patient communities to better understand care needs;
  • Implement/expand training for healthcare providers/facilitators on how to best link patients with support in their communities;
  • Implement/expand EDI training for executives, Board of Directors, advisory boards, and other personnel;
  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity of organizational leadership and governance to better reflect communities served;
  • Incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion into organizational mission statement, charter, values, etc.
ADVOCACY AND PUBLIC EDUCATION

For those whose work includes public health education and/or advocacy efforts around AMR, sepsis, or its underlying causes, suggested goals are: to center equity within advocacy strategy; to increase cultural relevancy within public-facing educational materials; to target distribution of educational materials toward disproportionately affected groups; to partner with organizations across the industry; and to increase diversity within signatory’s organization. Action items might include:

  • Increase cultural relevancy of public-facing health materials by including specifics on the health needs and concerns of underserved/communities of color;
  • Expand the availability of public-facing health materials in languages other than English;
  • Develop targeted distribution strategy for public-facing materials within underserved/communities of color;
  • Include in advocacy strategy the promotion of actions and policies that aim to close healthcare gaps and eliminate health barriers for underserved/communities of color;
  • Increase/strengthen industry partnerships, to help advise and ensure equity measures are implemented;
  • Use organizational voice to lend support to equity initiatives in the broader healthcare sector and across the continuum of care;
  • Implement/expand EDI training for executives, Board of Directors, advisory boards, and other personnel;
  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity of organizational leadership and governance to better reflect communities served;
  • Incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion into organizational mission statement, charter, values, etc.
GOVERNMENT

For state, federal, local, and tribal government health agencies engaged in AMR, sepsis, or its underlying causes, suggested goals are: to increase cultural relevancy within public health resources; to target distribution of public health resources within disproportionately affected communities; to drive diverse participation in agency-supported medical research; and to increase diversity within signatory’s organization. Action items might include:

  • Increase cultural relevancy of public-facing health resources by including specifics on the health needs and concerns of underserved/communities of color;
  • Expand the availability of public-facing health resources in languages other than English;
  • Develop targeted distribution strategy for health resources within underserved/communities of color;
  • Set target for inclusion of racially and ethnically diverse participants in direct medical research and/or grant-funded research;
  • Implement/expand EDI training for executives, Board of Directors, advisory boards, and other personnel;
  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity of organizational leadership and governance to better reflect communities served;
  • Incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion into organizational mission statement, charter, values, etc.
PAYORS

For payors in the health system hoping to contribute to equity work in the area of AMR, sepsis, or its underlying causes, suggested goals are: to increase outreach to historically under-resourced communities; to center diversity and inclusion when providing funding/grants, where applicable; and to increase diversity within signatory’s organization.

  • Increase cultural relevancy of public-facing health resources by including specifics on the health needs and concerns of underserved/communities of color;
  • Expand the availability of public-facing health resources in languages other than English;
  • Develop targeted distribution strategy for health resources within underserved/communities of color, including the expansion of health fairs within those communities;
  • Set target for racial and ethnic inclusivity when providing funding/grants;
  • Implement/expand EDI training for executives, Board of Directors, advisory boards, and other personnel;
  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity of organizational leadership and governance to better reflect communities served;
  • Incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion into organizational mission statement, charter, values, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our organization only has a partial focus on sepsis or AMR. Is this pledge for us?

Yes! This pledge is for all those pitching in to combat sepsis and AMR, even if that’s only part of the work that you do. Equity interventions are sorely needed in these areas, which warrants specific attention and targeted action.

Our organization is in! What are our first steps?

Your first step is to input your organization’s information into the form below. You will then receive a follow-up email from pledge@sepsis.org with further instructions. If you do not receive communication within one week, please first check your spam folder, then email us at pledge@sepsis.org. Be advised that in the follow-up communication, Sepsis Alliance will ask for more details about how you will be enacting the pledge.

What will the reporting process look like?

In order to remain a pledge partner, your organization will be asked to keep Sepsis Alliance posted on your equity progress on a biannual basis. What your report will look like will depend on how you’re enacting the pledge—you may share a new education initiative, updated reach numbers, or new inclusive language in your mission statement. You will receive an email in 6 months’ time with instructions on how to report your progress.

Will Sepsis Alliance share our organization's logo, name, or other information?

All pledge partners will be listed on this website, with organization name and logo included. Sepsis Alliance will not share other information—like specific actions or progress updates—in any form without explicit consent to do so.

Sign the pledge.

Signatories