SAN DIEGO –- UC San Diego Health is getting praise for winning an award for best health institution to provide health equity, the organization announced Monday.

UCSD Health was awarded the “2022 California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) Quality Leaders Award (QLA) in the category of health equity,” a press release from the institution noted.

Health equity, according to UCSD Health, is the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health.

This award specifically recognizes UCSD Health for establishing same-day infusion treatment protocols for individualized pain control for patients with sickle cell disease, said the institution. This infusion program kicked off during the pandemic.

The disease disproportionately impacts people who are of African and Hispanic descent, and at times people living with it can experience terrible pain when unhealthy red blood cells block blood flow through tiny blood vessels to the chest, abdomen and joints, said UCSD Health,

This is a telehealth program that enables easy communication between medical providers and patients, allowing the medical team to attend to patient needs in a timely fashion, the institution explained.

UCSD Health said it hopes to expand the program to further increase the number of patients treated, offer treatment after-hours and also collaborate with the emergency department in redirecting patients to the infusion center for treatment.