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Penn State Health launches stroke health equity initiative

Penn State Health has created a plan to address stroke health equity for patients cared for throughout the organization. The initiative aims to enhance health equity for all patients by addressing the health disparities that may affect their treatments, access to care, outcomes and overall patient experience.

“Some racially and ethnically diverse communities don’t have a high level of trust in the health care institutions that serve them,” said Heather Doyle, program director for health equity at Penn State Health. “As a result, Penn State Health has chosen to focus on stroke prevention in these communities.”

The Health Equity Pillar team plans to chart a course for Penn State Health, its community partners and the public to collaborate and improve the entire chain of stroke care, from primary prevention through recovery.

As a first step, the team will encourage patients to provide racial and ethnic information in the health system’s stroke registry. This data will help identify health care disparities within these populations. 

Addressing health equity systemwide

Penn State Health’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is partnering with the communities we serve to advance health equity and ensure the health system has adequate resources to improve the patient experience and provide everyone with a fair opportunity to achieve their full health potential.

The Joint Commission launched a Health Care Equity Certification program in July to recognize hospitals and organizations working to ensure equitable care, treatment and services for patients. Penn State Health aligns with this initiative and has made health equity a systemwide priority in the following areas:

  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Data collection
  • Provision of care
  • Performance improvement

To learn more about health equity at Penn State Health:

Because health equity is a priority both to Penn State Health and the patients we serve, watch for future stories and updates on this important work.

If you have questions about our Health Equity Program or would like more information, contact the Penn State Health Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at

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