VON for Health Equity
VON teams act on our ethical responsibility to follow through for infants and families.
What does it mean to follow through?
Health and well being are largely determined by race, ethnicity, income, immigration status, and local neighborhood. The effects are pronounced for infants in NICU care.
There is much that we can and must do to address the social determinants of health.
“Follow through” is a comprehensive approach that begins before birth and continues into childhood involving health professionals, families, and communities as partners to meet the social as well as medical needs of infants and families.
VON teams are dedicated to follow through to address the social determinants of health with the same energy and expertise that we devote to the technical aspects of care.
Interactive Events and Recorded Videos
Our community held a virtual discussion to explore how COVID-19 is affecting the care of minority women and their infants and discuss steps that perinatal and newborn care teams can take to achieve health equity for the mothers, infants, and families we serve.
Our “Color of Health” sessions from the 2019 Annual Quality Congress are available on the VON Improvement Library.
- The State of Our Network – The Next Challenge: Following Through, Jeffrey Horbar
- The Color of Law: How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein
- Healthcare Crisis for Mothers and Babies of Color, Elizabeth Howell
- Practical Interventions to Address Racial/Ethnic Inequity, Yolanda Ogbolu
- The Color of Health – Our Story, Natasha Beauchamp and Marquita Turner
Health Equity is a Key Driver for High Quality Critical Transitions
A critical transition is any change to the site of care, status or plan of care, or care team.
In newborn care, these changes happen multiple times from birth to home, and frequently through each phase of care. Each transition can affect the outcome of the infant and experience of the family.
Improvement in critical transitions is driven by:
- Families as partners (including Experience-Based Co-Design)
- Health Equity
- QI Fundamentals (including standardization)
VON Quality Circle members participating in QI collaboratives take a structured and evidence-based approach to improvement of practices and processes during critical transitions, including incorporating VON Potentially Better Practices for Follow Through.
Beck AF, Edwards EM, Horbar JD, Howell EA, McCormick MC, Pursley DM. The color of health: how racism, segregation, and inequality affect the health and well-being of preterm infants and their families. Pediatr Res. 2019; epub ahead of print. PubMed: 31357209. Open access.
Horbar JD, Edwards EM, Greenberg LT, Profit J, Draper D, Helkey D, Lorch SA, Lee HC, Phibbs CS, Rogowski J, Gould JB, Firebaugh G. Racial segregation and inequality in the neonatal intensive care unit for very low-birth-weight and very preterm infants. JAMA Pediatr. 2019; epub ahead of print. PubMed: 30907924
Boghossian NS, Geraci M, Lorch SA, Phibbs CS, Edwards EM, Horbar JD. Racial and ethnic differences over time in outcomes of infants born less than 30 weeks’ gestation. Pediatrics. 2019 Aug 12; epub ahead of print. PubMed: 31405887.
Parker MG, Greenberg LT, Edwards EM, Ehret D, Belfort MB, Horbar JD. National trends in the provision of human milk at hospital discharge among very low-birth-weight infants. JAMA Pediatr. 2019 Sept 3; epub ahead of print. PubMed: 31479097.
Sigurdson K, Morton C, Mitchell B, Profit J. Disparities in NICU quality of care: a qualitative study of family and clinician accounts. J Perinatol. 2018;38(5):600-607. PubMed: 29622778
Lake ET, Staiger D, Edwards EM, Smith JG, Rogowski JA. Nursing care disparities in neonatal intensive care units. Health Services Research. 2017 Sept 14; Epub ahead of print. PubMed: 28905367
Lake ET, Staiger D, Horbar J, Kenny MJ, Patrick T, Rogowski JA. Disparities in perinatal quality outcomes for very low birth weight infants in neonatal intensive care. Health Serv Res. 2015;50(2):374-397. PubMed: 25250882
Morales LS, Staiger DO, Horbar JD, Carpenter J, Kenny M, Geppert J, Rogowski J. Mortality among very low birthweight infants in hospitals serving minority population. Am J Public Health. 2005;95(12): 2206-2212. PubMed: 16304133