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Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Awards

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The 2025 application cycle will open on July 22, 2024.


The Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award is an annual recognition of outstanding efforts among hospitals and health care systems to advance equity of care to all patients and to spread lessons learned and progress toward diversity, inclusion and health equity. The Equity of Care Award is named after Carolyn Boone Lewis, the first African American trustee to chair the AHA board and a determined advocate for health equity and justice.


2024 Equity of Care Award Winners

Main Line Health - Philadelphia, PA
Augusta Health - Fishersville, VA
AnMed - Anderson, SC

All Equity of Care Award Winners

About Carolyn Boone Lewis

Carolyn Boone Lewis was amicable, trustworthy and loyal to those who knew her. Her work in health care began with the U.S Department of Health and Human Services and continued along as she served on the boards of the D.C Hospital Association, National Forum of Women Healthcare Leaders and the D.C Mayor’s Health Policy Council. In 2000, she was named chairman of the national trustee's board of the American Hospital Association, becoming the first African American to chair the board.

Lewis’ dedication to health equity began after her during her second pregnancy. While away in a remote location, she began to experience labor pains and approached the first hospital that she came across. The hospital suggested that she go to the next town over to a Black owned clinic. At the second hospital, the physicians recommended that she undergo a procedure that she was advised against by other doctors. The physicians insisted Lewis should follow through with the procedure but as time passed, she went into labor. As a result, this prompted Lewis to drive the health care system forward by achieving health equity while adopting a patient-first model.

Lewis’ contributions to the health care system and those around her were inspirational and provided the blueprint to eliminate inequities and transform the health care system into an equitable space.



“Carolyn Boone Lewis was a pioneer toward building a healthier and more just America. Through her service as a Trustee of a community hospital in Washington, DC and nationally as the first African American to chair the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees, Carolyn helped expand access to high-quality care both locally and across the country. Each year the AHA celebrates Carolyn’s legacy through our Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award, spotlighting hospitals who are leading the way in better serving their patients and communities. It was a tremendous honor and privilege to have worked closely with such a warm and caring person and to have called her a friend.”

Rick Pollack

President and CEO, American Hospital Association


About the Equity of Care Award

Leadership is needed to direct resources and programs aimed at reducing health care disparities and increasing diversity in leadership and staff positions. The AHA Equity of Care Award seeks to: 

  • Recognize outstanding efforts among hospitals and health care systems to advance equity of care.
  • Acknowledge hospitals and health systems that are committed to advancing health equity through AHA's Health Equity Roadmap.
  • Honor and continue the legacy of Carolyn Boone Lewis, the first African American and first hospital trustee to chair the AHA board, who was a tireless advocate for equity of care.

How to Apply for the Equity of Care Awards

Equity of Care Awards Application Process and Requirements

The American Hospital Association’s Health Equity Roadmap is a national framework to help hospitals and health care systems chart their paths of transformation towards achieving health equity and becoming a more inclusive organization. The AHA applauds hospitals and systems that prioritize the elimination of structural barriers that compromise diversity, equity and inclusion.

In order to apply for an award, a hospital or health system:

  1. Must be an AHA member in good standing.
  2. Must have registered for the Health Equity Roadmap and completed the Health Equity Transformation Assessment (HETA) by the time of application.

Hospitals and health systems can apply to one of the following three categories:

  • Transforming recognizes the hospital system that is implementing strategies to advance equity in their surrounding community.
  • Emerging recognizes the hospital that is leveraging the Health Equity Roadmap resources to dismantle structural barriers in their care delivery system and the communities they serve.
  • Small/Rural Hospital Excellence recognizes the hospital or system that has demonstrated excellence in advancing health equity in rural or small communities.