UConn Health Disparities Institute Annual Report 2021
Our nation and state are at a critical precipice for advancing health equity for medically underserved populations. The interdigitation of COVID-19 and upticks in racialized violence have ushered in a fierce urgency for systems change. Ensuring that we adopt dignifying healthcare delivery policies and practices. Designing approaches that allow us to pay for care differently. These are the kinds of true north goals we need to set and accomplish to address longstanding and contemporary health inequities. And, there is nothing more important in this moment than rising up to meet populations, communities, families, and individuals at their highest intentions for radical healing. We view our work at the Health Disparities Institute as an opportunity to ignite radical healing across the State of Connecticut. As members of a robust health equity ecosystem, we value community based participatory action research, coalition building, and providing technical assistance to leaders and organizations. This annual report provides an overview of the work we have accomplished in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.
Does Telehealth Reduce Geographic Barriers to Behavioral Healthcare for Connecticut's Medicaid Beneficiaries of Color?
The onset of COVID-19 resulted in unprecedented changes in the preferred modality of health services delivery. Safety concerns regarding in-person visits and risk of COVID-19 transmission led policymakers to fully embrace telehealth for clinical care delivery. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services implemented a number of COVID-19 flexibilities and waivers to make telehealth visits more accessible for patients and providers.1 Many states also implemented additional polices to further improve the availability of telehealth.
The State of Health Equity among Boys & Men of Color Virtual Summit and Ideas Lab Evaluation Report
UConn Health Disparities Institute proudly presented the State of Health Equity Among Boys and Men of Color Summit. This unprecedented global Summit featured solutions driven, interactive, and high powered sessions that employed arts-based approaches along with intergenerational dialogues designed to amplify youth voice. The aim of this virtual convening was to ignite public discourse and action that will advance health equity, racial justice, and systems change for radical healing among boys and men of color. Our opening keynote address was delivered by Dr. Arthur Evans, Jr., Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Psychological Association.
BREATH, EYES, MEMORY: Transforming Health Systems and Advancing Public Health Policies for Radical Healing
Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) is excavating and exposing bones buried in basements of America’s health systems and public health infrastructures. Radical healing is the antidote to racial injustice. It is the medicine that promotes wellness in the face of identity-based “wounds.” These wounds include those sustained by racist policies and practices, including exclusion from citizenship and the polity, extreme violence by those paid to serve and protect, and provision of substandard medical care.
Advancing Health Equity and Promoting Racial Justice During COVID-19
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been anything but business as usual. Our team at UConn HDI has gone to extraordinary lengths to serve our institution and our communities during these times of grieving, pain, loss, and uncertainty.
The COVID-19 response activities we enacted and collaborated with stakeholders build on our strategic approaches and goal to advance health equity and reduce health disparities in the state of CT.
In the following report, we outline our COVID-19 response activities guided by our four strategic approaches to eliminating health disparities and advancing health equity:
• Support policy action and systems change.
• Change data-driven and public narratives about vulnerable populations.
• Deepen community engagement and cultivate cross-sector collaborations.
• Enhance health equity research, training, and innovation.
UConn Health Disparities Institute Annual Report 2020
Over the past year, UConn Health Disparities Institute(HDI), our institution, and our nation at large have seen many changes, some of which none of us could have imagined a year ago. In the midst of dual pandemics – novel COVID-2019 and pre-existing structural racism – HDI’s mission and legislative mandate to eliminate health disparities and advance health equity have been elevated to a national agenda. The essential nature of our work and service to the state is clear, now more than ever, and we are proud to serve. We highlight below key accomplishments from the past year, July 2019 – June 2020
Racial/Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19: Priorities for Action
Partners and UConn HDI release Priorities for Action Racial Ethnic Disparities in COVID 19 report. These priorities are set forth by multi-sector organizations currently delivering urgently needed social, economic, spiritual support and health services to people of color. These short, mid, and long-term priorities for action are aimed at reducing racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19 across Connecticut. The report also includes an interactive feature that compiles work to reduce racial/ethnic COVID-19 disparities already happening across Connecticut.