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June 09, 2020 (Cleveland, OH)

Multiple Strategies to Eliminate Structural Racism Underway

Eliminate Structural RacismThe Center for Health Affairs is committed to taking concrete action steps to eliminate structural racism, a health priority identified by the community and HIP-Cuyahoga, and amplified in the recently released 2019 Cuyahoga Community Health Needs Assessment

As part of this effort, The Center is collaborating with Case Western Reserve University, which, as the lead organization, was recently awarded funding under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Cross-Sector Innovation Initiative (CSII). Through this grant program, the foundation aims to understand and support innovative multi-sector partnerships among public health, healthcare, and social services that ultimately transform practice to improve population health, wellbeing, and equity for all.

Co-led by The Center for Sharing Public Health Services and Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), this project supports Cuyahoga County’s quest to achieve equity by employing participatory group model building to create a detailed understanding of the impact of structural racism in Cuyahoga County. The resulting models will identify actionable and transportable strategies for advancing equity. Group model building sessions grounded in equity and community-based system dynamics with cross-sector community partners will be co-led by a sector representative and a community resident. The Center for Health Affairs is thrilled to partner with CWRU and other entities on this innovative initiative as the healthcare lead, bringing hospital member participants together while working to strengthen alignment among healthcare stakeholders.

The Center also recently presented testimony to the Education and Outreach Subcommittee of Governor Mike DeWine’s recently formed Minority Health Strike Force. This group of advisors has worked with state leadership to provide feedback on the immediate action necessary to address COVID-19 and its disproportionate impact on people of color across Ohio. In testimony, The Center offered the Strike Force the following recommendations:
  • Explore partnerships with trusted community partners, such as community health workers, to disseminate critical health messaging that communities of color need to know to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  
  • Connect with the Ohio SNAP-Ed program supported by the State Nutrition Action Committee to understand key takeaways from the statewide social marketing campaign, Celebrate Your Plate, they developed. 
  • Harness the convening power of hospital associations to help support education and outreach efforts.  
  • Use existing community health improvement websites, such as Healthy Northeast Ohio, to help promote and disseminate materials developed as part of the Minority Health Strike Force’s work.
In addition, The Center released this public statement supporting Cleveland City Council’s declaration of racism as a public health crisis. A cornerstone of the community health work led by The Center is to achieve equitable and improved health outcomes for all, and The Center is taking concrete steps to that end.

To learn more about The Center’s efforts to eliminate structural racism, contact us.


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