The Joint Commission and Kaiser Permanente have come together to establish The Bernard J. Tyson Award for Excellence in Pursuing Health Care Equity. This annual award will recognize healthcare organizations and their partners that led initiatives that achieved a measurable, sustained reduction in one or more healthcare disparities. It is named in honor of Bernard J. Tyson, the late chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente, who worked tirelessly to address the healthcare disparities that plague the U.S. healthcare system.

“Bernard Tyson was a leader and advocate for health care equity and challenged other leaders to do the same. I am sure he is smiling his biggest smile at the thought of this award and how it will support health equity,” says Greg A. Adams, chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente. “This award will help honor Bernard’s legacy and continue his life’s work, while reflecting Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing commitment to establishing equity, alongside quality and safety, as a fundamental metric for healthcare.”

“The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on minority and lower-income communities has highlighted the urgent need for targeted, data-informed efforts to improve healthcare disparities,” says Mark R. Chassin, president and CEO, The Joint Commission. “As we recognize excellent examples of work being done to improve these healthcare gaps, we hope other organizations will be inspired to take action.”

All types of healthcare organizations that directly deliver healthcare and have addressed disparities for any vulnerable population, including but not limited to race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status are encouraged to apply. The Joint Commission and Kaiser Permanente hope that the award will recognize achievement, inspire organizations to launch projects to address healthcare disparities, and provide concrete examples for others to emulate.

Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that describe the implementation of a well-defined intervention and that resulted in a measurable, sustained reduction in disparities. Applications that do not report measurable improvements will not be considered.

Nominations will open on May 17 and close on July 5, 2021. For more information, visit the Tyson Award webpage