The CHA Health Equity Collaborative is focused on improving health equity and eliminating disparities.  The Collaborative, launched in 2011 as the CHA Diversity Collaborative, is a first-ever, multi-year, statewide endeavor to:

• Increase diversity in hospital governance and senior management.

• Improve cultural competence in the delivery of care.

• Increase supplier diversity.

This groundbreaking initiative is modeled on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s successful clinical collaborative structure in which individual hospital teams work together to improve care.

CHA is an active member of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management (IFD), participating in IFD education, and using and promoting IFD-developed tools.  Partnerships have also been established with the Connecticut Chapters of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and the National Association of Health Services Executives, as well as the New England Regional Health Equity Council, the Connecticut Commission on Health Equity, and the Hispanic Health Council.  CHA also worked with the NAACP on the establishment of the Collaborative.

CHA is working with hospitals to continue emphasizing cultural competency as an institutional priority.  The work includes increasing the collection and use of race, ethnicity, and language preference data; increasing culturally and linguistically competent care; increasing culturally competent governance and cultural diversity in leadership; and working with communities to promote best practices of healthy living by engaging the broader public through community-based activities and programs.

On October 26, 2015, CHA held the Health Equity Collaborative Symposium. Chris Dadlez, Chairman of the Committee on Population Health and President and Chief Executive Officer of Trinity Health New England Regional Health Ministry, introduced the keynote speaker, Thomas LaVeist, PhD, the William C. and Nancy F. Richardson Professor in Health Policy and Director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

Dr. LaVeist discussed national demographic changes and studies that show “astonishing inequities” in treatment and outcomes for people of color.  He noted that cultural competency is lagging behind demographic changes in the United States, making the issue increasingly urgent for healthcare providers and patients.

The symposium also featured a presentation on Cultural Competence in Healthcare by Troy Cicero, MulticultuReal, and a session on approaches to increasing supplier diversity by David Walsh, the Administrative Director of Supply Chain at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, as well as the hospital’s Supplier Diversity Program Coordinator, Tatiana Paredes.

Mr. Dadlez encouraged participants to take the AHA #123forEquity Pledge to Act to Eliminate Health Care Disparities – endorsed by the CHA Board and the Committee on Population Health.  The pledge is part of a national call to action to eliminate healthcare disparities with a focus on increasing the collection and use of race, ethnicity, and language preference data; increasing cultural competency training; and increasing diversity in governance and leadership.  It is based on the fundamental concept that health equity is essential for performance excellence and improved community health.