Health Equity

Tackling Health Equity: A Two-Part Podcast for Trustees 

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The American Hospital Association's Trustee Services is pleased to offer you access to two podcasts on health equity. "Tackling Health Equity: How Boards Can Do It" discusses how hospital and health system boards across the U.S. are advancing health equity. 

Listen in as Maria Hernandez, Ph.D., president and chief operating officer of Impact4Health, and Karma Bass, senior principal at Via Healthcare Consulting, discuss the health equity challenges that board members can expect to encounter and how best to tackle them. They review the kinds of data that should be included in board reports and dashboards to improve visibility of the issues of inequity. They also offer suggestions for navigating difficult conversations about race and privilege, and outline specific steps boards can take on their journey to better understanding and addressing the pernicious inequities that affect our health care delivery systems nationwide.  

For this discussion, Dr. Hernandez brings national expertise in advancing health equity as well as experience as a health system trustee, while Ms. Bass brings over 25 years of experience helping boards navigate difficult conversations. 

Please note that the views of the presenters do not always reflect the views of the AHA. Please contact AHA at 800-424-4301 or with questions.

Part One

Part Two


maria hernandez

Maria Hernandez, Ph.D. 

Maria Hernandez is president and chief operating officer of Impact4Health, a consulting firm focused on health care innovations, strategy and community engagement to reduce health care disparities. She has led research for the Inclusion Scorecard for Population Health and the Inclusive Leader 360, each of which is designed to advance health equity and create a culture of inclusion that meets the needs of diverse patient populations. Hernandez also serves as secretary of the board of trustees for Alameda Health System, with membership on the Human Resource and Quality and Professional Services Committees. A graduate of the University of Texas, she holds a doctorate in community psychology and is a Danforth Fellow and American Psychological Association Minority Fellow. Hernandez was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame for her work in health care in March 2019.

karma bass

Karma Bass, MPH, FACHE 

Throughout the past 25 years, Karma Bass has worked with health care leaders across the United States on governance, strategic planning, philanthropy, policy and board effectiveness. Prior to launching her consulting career, she served as president and CEO of Alliance Healthcare Foundation in San Diego, where she reported to an independent, 11-member not-for-profit board. Bass also spent 10 years at The Governance Institute, where she led member services, research and publications. She is board certified in health care management and holds a master’s degree in public health with a focus in health services administration from San Diego State University.