From Awareness to Action
Stakeholders’ Strategies to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities
SHIRE’s March 2007 publication, From Awareness to Action/Stakeholders’ Strategies to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities, presents the results of a multi-year study conducted with the support of The Commonwealth Fund. The report describes steps taken by national and community stakeholders, as reported in individual consultations, to act on awareness of the existence of health gaps between minorities and the total population. Stakeholders have taken action to address racial/ethnic health disparities in a variety of ways, including use of institutional leverage; policy advocacy; research and programs; partnership/coalition-building; information dissemination; and community engagement and empowerment. SHIRE also examined external and internal factors that contributed to organizational decisions and assessed the value of frequent workshops and conferences focused on health disparities. Recommendations include the need to make the “business case” for eliminating health disparities; to continue and accelerate efforts to collect racial, ethnic, and primary language data by both public and private entities; and to consider new strategies to bring about universal health care as a prerequisite for the attainment of health parity and equity.
Perspectives on the HIT/Health Disparities Connection
SHIRE produced this report for distribution at its March 22, 2007 briefing on “HIT and Health Disparities: Connecting the Dots,” which was co-sponsored by the Health Information Management Systems Society and Blank Rome, in collaboration with the offices of Congressman Edolphus Towns and Congresswoman Donna Christensen. In the document, SHIRE describes compelling reasons for the inclusion of communities of color in health information technology (HIT) public and private initiatives. Also presented are potential benefits of and barriers to minority participation in HIT as well as examples of potential negative impacts of HIT in communities of color if inclusion is not achieved. SHIRE concludes its analysis with proposed HIT principles and selected policy recommendations.
Building Coalitions Among
Communities of Color
A Multicultural Approach
This document has been published as a guide to develop coalitions that draw on the strengths and assets of communities of color. Although focused on the elimination of health disparities and the achievement of expanded access, the guidance presented is transferable to other issues as well. Coalition-building strategies, steps, and tools in the guide emerged from consultations with more than 100 representatives of regional and state Office of Minority Health contacts and members of Out of Many, One, a national multicultural advocacy organization. If this collective guidance is followed, the result can be partnerships that are strong, effective change agents over time. Such coalitions, constructed with care and commitment, will illustrate the Korean proverb: “One chopstick breaks easily. Many chopsticks cannot be broken.”
National Policy Agenda
Eliminating Health Disparities In Communities of Color
This document is the product of a Multicultural Leadership Forum that engaged national stakeholders and was convened by The Commonwealth Fund and SHIRE. The forum’s charge was to create a framework for the development and assessment of health disparity initiatives, particularly at the national level. The resulting document contains an inspiring vision, key policy premises and principles that reflect those premises, as well as relevant national policies and action strategies. The National Policy Agenda is recommended as a tool for policy formulation, program development, research, and advocacy.
Giving Voices to the Voiceless
Language Barriers & Health Access Issues of Black Immigrants of African Descent
The report, prepared by SHIRE and published by The California Endowment, identifies the systems, language, and cultural barriers that impede health care access among immigrants and refugees of African descent in California and nationally. Although a preliminary assessment, the report provides valuable quantitative and qualitative information about this population, which is so frequently invisible when discussions of immigrant issues occur. Findings and recommendations point to solutions that can be implemented by public and private entities and by organizations that are led by and serve expanding communities of these immigrants, refugees, and asylees.
Racial, Ethnic, and Primary Language Data Collection in the Health Care System:
An Assessment of Federal Policies and Practices
SHIRE’s executive director, Ruth Perot, was the principal author of this report, which found wide gaps between the goals of federal initiatives to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care and the ways federal health agencies are collecting the data needed to achieve these goals. This comprehensive analysis, published by The Commonwealth Fund in September 2001, was cited extensively in the Institute of Medicine’s landmark publication, Unequal Treatment. Copies can be ordered from The Commonwealth Fund at www.cmwf.org or by calling 1-888-777-2744.
People of Color Don’t Have to Die Sooner and Stay Sicker than Whites in This Nation.
It’s Time to Take Action to End Health Disparities.
This one-page flyer is suitable for distribution at health fairs and other events. The message conveyed is that each of us has a responsibility to end health disparities, by taking steps as individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities.