(CHICAGO, Dec. 9, 2022) – CommonSpirit Health has launched the Lloyd H. Dean Institute for Humankindness & Health Justice in order to leverage the power of humankindness to treat the social causes of poor health and advance health justice. Alisahah Jackson, MD, who most recently served as System Vice President for Population Health Innovation and Policy at CommonSpirit, will serve as the institute’s first president. Dr. Jackson was previously the Chief Community Impact Officer at Atrium Health.
“We are leveraging the science of kindness, compassion, empathy and trust to accelerate health equity and social justice,” Dr. Jackson said. “The formation of the institute comes at a crucial moment for our industry — when we must focus on doing maximum good in our communities, while focusing on our shared humanity.”
Named for former CommonSpirit Health CEO Lloyd H. Dean, who retired in August, the institute celebrates and advances Dean’s long-standing commitment to health equity and the power of humankindness.
“We know that kindness and our shared humanity have the power to deliver healing to those who need it,” said CommonSpirit Health CEO Wright Lassiter III. “Recognizing the systemic inequities in healthcare and taking meaningful steps to reverse them is at the core of our work as a mission-driven health organization and an important way to honor Lloyd’s legacy. The institute’s work will save lives and strengthen our communities.”
Ongoing social and public health crises have both revealed and deepened persistent
inequities and disparities. The Institute will serve as a convener and catalyst for health justice and humankindness initiatives happening across CommonSpirit in areas including clinical, workforce development, and community . The institute’s programmatic work will center around four key areas:
Leveraging the science of humankindness to address systemic barriers to good health. The institute will fund new research into how kindness, empathy and trust can be leveraged in health settings to improve outcomes among diverse populations;
Building healthier communities, aligned with CommonSpirit’s mission to improve the health of the most vulnerable among us. The institute will help coordinate the work of community health initiatives addressing the social determinants of health to align with clinical approaches;
Developing a more diverse health care workforce that can meet the health and social needs of future generations, and that reflects the communities served by CommonSpirit Health. The institute will bolster CommonSpirit’s industry-leading programs seeking to diversify the health care workforce with academic partners across the country, while also working to grow the number of organizations the health system partners with;
Accelerating health justice research in order to eliminate disparities in health care and work toward a future in which everyone has a chance to be healthy. The institute will seek to align data and reporting techniques with clinical initiatives that are seeking to reduce race-based health disparities, while addressing social issues that also contribute to these inequities.
The Institute will be funded initially through a $50 million campaign launched by the CommonSpirit Health Foundation earlier this year. For more information about giving options, visit https://commonspirithealthphilanthropy.org/humankindness-gala-institute
About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. With its national office in Chicago and a team of over 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit operates 138 hospitals and more than 2,000 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2022, CommonSpirit had revenues of $33.9 billion and provided $4.9 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs. Learn more at www.commonspirit.org.