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February 11, 2021

Citizens’ Advisory Council on Equity Makes Recommendations Addressing Structural Racism

Structural RacismThe Cuyahoga County Citizens’ Advisory Council on Equity (CACE) has released its first status report to the community, a preliminary update on the progress and activity of the council since August 2020. The report contains findings, recommendations and aspirations in efforts to combat structural racism in Cuyahoga County.

The Citizens’ Advisory Council on Equity was created legislatively by the Cuyahoga County Council and comprises 17 members appointed by the Cuyahoga County Executive and Cuyahoga County Council President. The newly released report includes sections on health and healthcare, economic opportunities, equitable quality of life, and criminal justice.

The healthcare portion of the report discusses structural racism and the resulting disparities in health outcomes. It reviews the work of the council in recent months to collect and analyze numerous sources of data, including the collaborative Cuyahoga County community health needs assessments completed over the last couple of years. This analysis was used create an environmental scan internal and external to Cuyahoga County government that, according to the report, has yielded insights regarding the degree to which individuals and organizations recognize the impact of racism and are working to address its impact.

Recommendations in the healthcare section of the report are aimed at addressing structural racism and improving diversity, equity and inclusion. Healthcare systems, community-based organizations, institutions of higher learning and local governments within Cuyahoga County are urged to declare racism a public health crisis as a first step toward operationalizing how their organizations can be part of creating an equitable Cuyahoga County. Additional action steps are suggested and the council also shares its plans to further this work 2021.

The work of the council is happening in parallel with that of a number of other entities within the community, including the Health Improvement Partnership – Cuyahoga (HIP-Cuyahoga) and the collaborative hospital and public health efforts to create a systems model for change as a first step toward eliminating structural racism, one of the priorities identified through the 2019 community health needs assessment. This collaborative, multi-pronged effort by organizations throughout the county is critical to achieving real, meaningful, impactful outcomes.

For more on the work being done by the healthcare sector to address structural racism, contact us.

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