AMA joins trend, hires first health equity officer

Cedar-Sinai and Children's Minnesota have also made health equity hires

The AMA announced Tuesday that it was hiring Aletha Maybank as its first chief health equity officer. Maybank, who was the founding director of the Center for Health Equity in the New York City public health department, will head up the AMA’s new Center for Health Equity.

Other health care organizations are adding health equity officers and similar positions to their management ranks. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, for example, hired Linda Burnes Bolton as its first chief health equity officer in March. The Children’s Minnesota hospital system named James C. Burroughs II as its first chief equity and inclusion officer in January.

These positions are getting created and filled as health care organizations are coming under pressure to tackle long-standing disparities in access to care and in outcomes such as infant mortality. Provider organizations are also expanding their remit to include social determinants of health, such as housing, nutrition, and employment.