Network Stories

Reducing Implicit Bias in the NICU

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team, led by Dr. Yolanda Brown-Madan and Dr. Seth Langston, at Cedars Sinai Medical Center (CSMC) in Los Angeles, California has received the first funding award from Vermont Oxford Network’s Take Action to Follow Through health equity innovation grant program for their project Reducing Implicit Bias in the NICU. The Department of Pediatrics is participating in the VON quality improvement collaborative iNICQ Improving Critical Transitions, which supports and improves healthcare teams’ practices and processes to positively affect health outcomes for all infants. Through this collaborative, the CSMC team is currently focused on improving discharge home.

With a funding award of $10,000, the Department of Pediatrics at Cedars Sinai Medical Center will support staff education about race-related health disparities. New programs will include a lecture series featuring national experts to address topics such as health disparities, implicit bias and microaggressions, and historical inequities in medicine. The funding will also support small group workshops and support groups to inform quality improvement in the NICU.

The Take Action to Follow Through grant program supports teams’ development of innovative programs that confront health inequities and that can spread across our community of practice.  The concept of ‘Follow Through’ encourages a comprehensive approach to care that begins before birth and continues into childhood. It emphasizes the involvement and collaboration of health professionals, families, and communities to meet the social and medical needs of infants and families to foster health equity. VON developed a list of Potentially Better Practices (PBPs) for Follow Through, which provides a starting point for teams seeking to improve health equity in their communities. These PBPs and the corresponding grant program are central parts of the VON QI collaboratives – NICQ and iNICQ – focused on improving processes and practices in the care of all infants and families. With VON’s support, Cedars Sinai hopes to develop programming and resources that improve health equity throughout the CSMC system.