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Voices for Health Equity

Voices for Health Equity

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we have a reason for you to smile. More kids than ever before have dental coverage in California. Pediatric dental coverage is included in all Covered California health plans thanks to policy changes implemented last year, and all children enrolled in Medi-Cal also have dental coverage. This coverage opens the door to preventive dental services, such as exams, fluoride treatments, and more. There is also coverage for treatment of problems, such as fillings and other needed care.

Expanded coverage is especially significant for low-income children and communities of color facing stark inequities in oral health. According to a report by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, the disparity in oral health between poor and affluent children in California is the worst in the nation. African American and Latino children are less likely to have seen a dental provider and often wait longer between visits. When children don’t have good oral health and get the care they deserve, they are at risk for missing school and performing poorly in class, and they often end up in the emergency room for preventable dental problems that become costly when left untreated.

Dental coverage and learning how to use that coverage to get preventive services is the foundation for kids to have healthy teeth. Many families, however, may not know their kids have coverage or how to get dental care. That’s why The Children’s Partnership developed brand new flyers to help families learn how to navigate their children’s dental coverage.

The latest issue of our Health Equity Forum newsletter came out today and it includes several great articles and dozens of resources.

CPEHN’s Executive Director, Sarah de Guia, opens the newsletter by discussing Covered California’s disparities reduction and quality improvement strategies, which show promise in reducing disparities for California’s communities of color.

Our Ethnic Partner Spotlight features an article from the California Black Health Network (CBHN) and their advocacy efforts to improve the health of people with Sickle Cell Disease.

Covered California Sees Strong Enrollment Numbers in 2016: Covered California released a detailed breakout of its 2016 enrollees at its Board meeting on February 18. Nearly 440,000 new enrollees had selected a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) as of February 6, 2016. Low-income (88%) and communities of color (66%) continue to represent the majority of Exchange enrollees with Asians at 20%, Pacific Islanders at >1%, Black or African-American at 4%, Latino at 36%, American Indian or Alaskan Native at > 1%, and multiple races/other at 7%.

While Covered California’s preliminary enrollment numbers are strong, they provide an incomplete picture of the enrollee population as close to one-third of enrollees (119,510) did not respond to demographic questions. Covered California plans to provide additional data on its 2016 enrollee population including information on the written and spoken languages of its enrollees at a later point this year.

PI CCHH Report

“The Community-Centered Health Homes model has spurred a phenomenal transformation in our community and our clinic. CCHH is a way to make the connection to what we’re doing in the community to the services & treatment that we provide in the exam room.”

- Chandra Smiley, CEO, Escambia Community Clinics, Inc., CCHH Demonstration Project Grantee

A new Prevention Institute (PI) brief outlines what we’ve learned in advancing the Community-Centered Health Homes (CCHH) model across the country since it was first released five years ago. PI originally developed the CCHH model to provide a framework for healthcare organizations to systematically address the community conditions that impact their patients. By implementing activities based on community needs rather than medical treatment needs alone, we can improve health, safety, and equity outcomes.

In the five years since the first report release, the CCHH model has catalyzed action and activity in communities across the country - including California, the Gulf Coast Region, North Carolina, and Texas. The brief reviews and analyzes what we’ve heard from healthcare organizations actively involved in community change – particularly clinics doing early testing of the CCHH model – and summarizes lessons learned, recommendations for success, and common themes that have emerged for healthcare organizations and funders looking to implement the model. The brief was funded by The Kresge Foundation.

Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience Report Cover

Prevention Institute’s (PI) new report about community trauma provides insight into timely issues like high rates of gun violence in inner cities; protests in Ferguson, Baltimore, and elsewhere; and systemic poverty, unemployment and poor health in communities of color. It also offers solutions.

There is a growing need for treating trauma as a public health epidemic, and exploring population-level strategies and prevention. Until now, there has been no framework for understanding and preventing the systematic effects of community trauma — or how community trauma undermines both individual and collective resilience, especially in communities with high rates of violence.

The report, featured last week in USA Today, is based on interviews with practitioners in communities with high rates of violence. Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience, describes symptoms of trauma at the community level, as well as strategies to build resilience, heal community trauma, and prevent future trauma.

Healing strategies include: restorative justice programs that shift the norms around conflict resolution; safer public spaces via creation of parks; social relationship building, particularly across generations; improving housing quality and transportation; and healing circles that provide space for expression.

CPEHN and our partners would like to invite you to join us in Sacramento on March 30 for the annual ENACT Day! ENACT Nutrition and Physical Activity Day brings community members and advocates from all over California together in Sacramento to learn about and support state policies promoting nutrition and physical activity.

March 30, 2016
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
St John's Lutheran Church
1701 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95811

Click here to register and for more information. 

ENACT Day is a great opportunity to learn about advocacy and make your voice heard in the capitol. The event is free, and breakfast and lunch will be provided. All you need is your passion, and an optional donation. Space is limited! If you are unable to attend the event in person but would still like to participate, you can register for Virtual ENACT Day, during which you can use your email, telephone, and social media to tell your story. No matter where you are, you are welcome to join us!

Registration for ENACT Day closes March 16th so register today!

Also, please note: a limited number of travel scholarships are available. Please apply early to help us fulfil as many requests as possible. If you would like to apply for a travel scholarship, please complete the online application survey HERE by February 29th.

Families USA

It was really exciting to see California front and center this year at Families USA’s 2016 Health Action Conference. Sometimes when we are entrenched in the work, we often forget to reflect on our successes and the tremendous grit, collaboration, and leadership that go into it all. We were humbled as Dr. Bob Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment, and Marielena Hicapie, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center, reminded us just how far California has come but also how much more work there still is to do. Later, we were absolutely thrilled to see our colleague and friend, Reshma Shamasunder, former Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, honored as the Health Equity Advocate of the Year.

Ensuring Healthy Development Without Displacement Cover

A new Prevention Institute (PI) brief shares key learnings from a recent summit in Los Angeles (LA) to discuss tools and strategies for supporting healthy community development without displacing current residents. The October meeting of policymakers, funders, academics, practitioners, and resident activists added a strong health frame to the ongoing conversation in LA on gentrification and displacement.

To effectively identify racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care, it is essential that key elements such as patient race, ethnicity, and language proficiency be collected routinely and then utilized to measure performance. There is now also great attention being given to the impact of social determinants on health disparities--including environmental factors, food insecurity, transportation, and safe housing--among others. Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence of the American Hospital Association and the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital are hosting a webinar, “Going Beyond REaL Data Collection: Collecting Social Determinants of Health” on Tuesday, February 23rd, from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT.

This webinar will discuss strategies and approaches implemented by hospitals and health care systems to collect the social determinants of health, with the understanding that this information will be critical for population health efforts of health plans, hospitals and health centers nationwide. Speakers include:

  • Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS, Director, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital
  • Lenny López, MD, MDiv, MPH, Chief of Hospital Medicine, University of California San Francisco - SFVA and Senior Faculty, the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Aswita Tan-McGrory, MBA, MSPH, Deputy Director, Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital

If interested in attending, please register online

For more information contact Andrea Madu at amadu@partners.org.

 

Focus Group

Since 1992, CPEHN has been working to improve the health of communities of color in California, and in 2015 we embarked on an exciting new project around oral health equity. Since last year, we have been preparing to conduct a multicultural community needs assessment throughout the state.

We partnered with nine community organizations representing diverse constituencies and health needs. These core partners are Asian Health Services and Roots Community Clinic in Oakland, Sacramento Native American Health Center, Centro Binacional para el Dessarrollo Indigena Oaxaqueno in Fresno, Korean Resource Center and Black Women for Wellness in Los Angeles, Latino Health Access in Orange County, Nile Sisters in San Diego, and the Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Coalition.

Our core partners have started hosting community discussions to identify oral health needs, barriers, possible solutions, and perspectives. In the past couple weeks, I had the opportunity to attend community discussion sessions in Los Angeles coordinated by Black Women for Wellness and in San Diego coordinated by Nile Sisters.

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