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Rapid City Hospital honored for advancing diversity, inclusion and health equity

Photo link: Monument Health President and CEO, Paulette Davidson (left) joins Sandra Ogunremi, DHA, Monument Health Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging to accept the award.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (July 19, 2023) – The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE) announced that Monument Health Rapid City Hospital is being recognized as one of three health care systems to earn the 2023 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care (EOC) Award. 

The Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award is an annual recognition of outstanding efforts among hospitals and health systems to advance equity of care to all patients and to spread lessons learned and progress toward diversity, inclusion and health equity. Lewis was the first African-American and first hospital trustee to chair the AHA Board. 

“The AHA’s Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care award is given to these hospitals and health systems for engaging in exceptional and transformative efforts to reduce health disparities and other inequities within their communities,” said Rick Pollack, AHA’s President and CEO. “This year’s honorees have shown exemplary commitment to understanding and improving the lives of patients and employees of diverse populations through advisory councils, comprehensive data collection, community engagement and outreach and staff training, to give just a few examples of their important work.” 

Monument Health Rapid City Hospital was selected as the Equity of Care, Small/Rural Hospital Excellence Award winner for demonstrating excellence in using quantitative and qualitative data to address disparities and improve patient health quality. 

“At Monument Health, we are committed to being one team, to be inclusive and to listen. To do the right thing. Every time. Those aren’t just words in our mission statement but values we hold dear and bring to work each day,” said Sandra Ogunremi, DHA, Monument Health Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. 

Since signing the AHA Equity of Care Pledge in 2015, Monument Health Rapid City Hospital has consistently collected race, ethnicity and language data at a capture rate above 98 percent. It has also collated other pertinent information resulting in the ability to strategically focus on the needs of its patients. Monument Health Rapid City Hospital formed a Health Equity Team that analyzes data and is empowered to develop and specifically tailor a care plan that includes additional monitoring and an increased frequency of discharge phone calls to reduce readmission rates.

Recognizing its unique patient population, Monument Health Rapid City Hospital engages and collaborates with its community populations. Caregivers complete cultural awareness training as part of their orientation and the workforce is highly engaged in ongoing educational sessions. Since 2016, cultural awareness seminars have been held to understand and address health disparities that affect Native Americans. A Health Equity Seminar was added in 2022, where expert physicians presented data and clinical findings on specific medical conditions such as peripheral artery disease, congenital syphilis, cancer detection and research impacting the Native American communities.


About the American Hospital Association (AHA)

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA advocates on behalf of our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, our clinician partners – including more than 270,000 affiliated physicians, 2 million nurses and other caregivers – and the 43,000 health care leaders who belong to our professional membership groups. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides insight and education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

About Monument Health

Headquartered in Rapid City, S.D., Monument Health is a community-based health care system with a mission to make a difference, every day. The system offers care in 31 medical specialties and serves 14 communities across western South Dakota and in eastern Wyoming. With over 5,000 physicians and caregivers, Monument Health is composed of 5 hospitals and 38 medical clinics and specialty centers. Monument Health is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

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