FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2021

Contact:
Michael K. Frisby
[email protected]/202-625-4328

Statement by Dr. Gail C. Christopher, Executive Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity

NATIONAL DAY OF RACIAL HEALING CELEBRATES THE VOICES IN AMERICA CALLING FOR UNITY AND PEACE

Dr. Christopher’s Complete Video Message is HERE

WASHINGTON – “The National Collaborative for Health Equity has a vision and a mission to eliminate health inequities and to help create conditions that will allow all people to experience optimal health and well-being. But we know that the biggest barrier to achieving that mission is racism. And so, as part of our work, we are helping this country to overcome racism and its harmful legacy. Today is the 6th annual National Day of Racial Healing. Why focus a day on racial healing? Because we need to lift up the voices for unity, for peace, for engaging communities in the process of learning how to see ourselves in the face of the perceived other. America was built on a fallacy, on a hierarchy of human value. In the early centuries of this country that belief system was enacted through the decimation and the taking of the lands of indigenous people, the forced enslavement of African people, immigration policies that were based on that racial hierarchy.

“This notion of racism is built into the systems and structures of our society. And to a large measure, we’re in denial about that as a root cause and a root threat to the very viability of our democracy. Now, if you turn on the news these days, you’ll hear whispers about the possibility of a civil war. You’ll also hear about surveys that say that a large number of people think that political violence is okay.

“I want us to recognize that we have the power to quiet those voices. We have the power to come together as a society and actualize the core tenets of our democracy. All people were created equal and all people should have an equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But that will only happen when all people, and certainly the majority of people, actually commit to that as our primary work. And that’s what the National Day of Racial Healing is about. It’s about paying attention to the unfinished business of creating an equitable society. It’s about working to eliminate the permission to devalue some people and value others based on superficial characteristics. And it’s about creating structures of opportunity and putting in place practices that understand the complexity of that work.

“We created the National Day of Racial Healing to fall every year one day after we celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr holiday. Why is that? Because it’s a day that we set aside to pay attention to the reasons Dr. King both lived and died to help us as a country believe that we could create the Beloved Community. And, the Beloved Community is built on valuing all people equally.

“I’m excited that our national partners are also committed to this work. Over 300 organizations are supporting the call for the creation of a National Commission on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT). Many communities are implementing a version of the TRHT process. I define racial healing as our individual and collective efforts to eliminate the belief in the false hierarchy of human value. And most importantly, to replace that belief with a reverence and respect and regard for our interconnectedness and learning how to see ourselves in the face of the other or the perceived other. That’s learning how to be empathetic, how to be compassionate and how to translate that empathy and compassion into standing up for justice in this country and for fair and equitable opportunities.

“Voices are calling for unity and peace, calling for embracing our full humanity as a society, the full humanity of all of us. And we know that we must do this for ourselves and for future generations. Our democracy depends on our collective effort to heal and to transform. I hope this National Day of Racial Healing is an important day for you because you recognize the primacy of this work.”

 

Download PDF Version HERE.

The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the gaps in our public health infrastructure. When data are inconsistently collected across states and localities; are incomplete; aren’t shared in a timely fashion; or don’t capture vital race and ethnicity information, it’s impossible to understand the full impact of any crisis.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation established a first-of-its-kind National Commission to Transform Public Health Data Systems to reimagine how data are collected, shared, and used, and identify what public and private investments are needed to advance health equity. Led by Dr. Gail Christopher of the National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE), the 16-member Commission represents a diverse group of innovators and experts representing multiple sectors – health care, community advocacy, government, business, public health, and others – and I am pleased to be a member of this Commission.

The Commission examined both the systems and the data needed to ensure public health information works for all, including who the data we collect elevates, who is being centered in our data, who is being excluded, and why. The report includes overarching recommendations and steps a range of stakeholders can take that offer a blueprint for change with equity at their core. Learn more: RWJF Transforming Public Health Data Systems.

View Webinar: Charting a Course for an Equity-Centered Data System

Title: Deputy Director for Programs and Strategy
Location: Washington, D.C. (There will be remote consideration for this role.)
Reports to: Executive Director
Status: Full-time, Non-Exempt
Salary: $140,000-160,000

 

Founded in 2014, NCHE was established to promote health equity through action, leadership, inclusion, and collaboration. Health equity, in our view, requires creating the conditions that foster the best possible health for all populations, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or nativity. It requires us to actively measure and improve conditions for health and well-being, including those related to housing, education, income and wealth, and the physical and social environment. And it requires us to correct historic and contemporary injustices and inequities in these dimensions that are often brought about by racism operating at structural, institutional, and interpersonal levels. NCHE’s work is guided by the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation framework (TRHT), a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the history and contemporary effects of racism, envisioned by Dr. Gail Christopher, Executive Director of NCHE.

POSITION SUMMARY

At a pivotal moment of growth, NCHE now seeks a Deputy Director for Programs and Strategy to provide high-level leadership to NCHE’s programs and strategy, lead NCHE’s partnerships and organizational alliances, and serve as an external representative and advocate for NCHE.

The Deputy Director will report to the Executive Director and provide leadership to a dedicated team in the growth of NCHE’s programs and impact in the field. Key areas of responsibility include:
Vision & Strategy

The Deputy Director will provide leadership to programs and initiatives of NCHE, ensuring alignment with organizational strategy, mission, and vision. The growth of the programmatic work will elevate a focus on the connections between data and community empowerment through knowledge and insight. Additionally, the Deputy Director will partner with the Executive Director to develop and provide robust consultative services that integrate health equity and racial healing into organizational development strategies for partners and clients. S/he/they will lead the development of NCHE’s written publications to ensure that lessons learned and expertise are shared widely.

NCHE’S CORE PROGRAMS AND IMPACT

NCHE has distinguished itself as a leader in leading collaborations that are designed to change the course of racial inequality and the health inequities that come as a result. At a moment of significant opportunity in the field, NCHE is expanding its programmatic work to focus on helping local jurisdictions apply the equity focused data- domains and indicators, of the HOPE Data initiative in advocating for public health policies that will help to ensure a more equitable recovery from the Covid19 pandemic. Additionally, NCHE is leading the following programs and initiatives in support of its mission:

Culture of Health Leaders is co-led by NCHE and CommonHealth ACTION and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). This program will develop leaders to promote a national Culture of Health through collaboration and transformational leadership in their communities.

The Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative provides an interactive data tool designed to help states and the country move beyond measuring disparities to spurring action toward health equity. HOPE tracks social determinants of health and health outcomes by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. This work leverages an opportunity framework to set aspirational but achievable goals to improve life outcomes—especially populations of color most affected by systemic racism and conscious and unconscious bias.

Collaboratives for Health Equity (CHE) is a national network designed to empower leaders and communities to identify and address social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health and life opportunities. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this initiative is focused on helping community leaders make their towns and cities better places and healthier places to live.

Healing Through Policy (HTP) is a collaboration between NCHE, American Public Health Association (APHA), and the de Beaumont Foundation. The partners scanned the literature and reached out to the field to curate a set of policy briefs that describe policies and practices which align with the TRHT framework and can help jurisdictions implement strategies to address racism as a public health crisis. NCHE will help jurisdictions utilize this information.

National Commission to Transform Public Health Data Systems (TPHD), funded by RWJF and led by NCHE, is charged with reimagining how data is collected, shared, and used, and identifying which public- and private-sector investments are needed with the express purpose of modernizing our public health data infrastructure to improve health equity. The commission will explore challenges and opportunities such as new data sources and measures that show promise for future public health surveillance; data disaggregation to better identify risk and outcomes by race, gender, and ethnicity; data collection on vulnerable populations, such as the incarcerated; use of data in communication with the public; building data capacity in poorer resourced communities; community involvement in shaping data systems; and data interoperability.

For more information on NCHE’s programs: https://www.nationalcollaborative.org/our-programs

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE NEW DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Partnership Building, Fund Development & External Representation
The Deputy Director will play a critical role in cultivating relationships with new and existing partners across the field to develop shared resources, partnerships, and opportunities for collaboration. S/he/they will develop relationships with new and emerging funders and identify new opportunities for funding partnerships to advance NCHE’s work. As NCHE continues to grow, the Deputy Director will also represent NCHE externally in field-facing environments, with media, and national and local policymakers.

Organizational Management & Team Culture
A key member of the NCHE leadership team, the Deputy Director will support the growth and development of a diverse and passionate team who represent the values and equity-centered vision of NCHE through their work. S/he/they will manage overall workflow and deliverables across NCHE’s team to ensure successful project execution and quality work products. The Deputy Director will also support the continued development of principles, practices, and policies that reflect racial equity, diversity, inclusion, and awareness of power dynamics.

Organizational Management & Team Culture
A key member of the NCHE leadership team, the Deputy Director will support the growth and development of a diverse and passionate team who represent the values and equity-centered vision of NCHE through their work. S/he/they will manage overall workflow and deliverables across NCHE’s team to ensure successful project execution and quality work products. The Deputy Director will also support the continued development of principles, practices, and policies that reflect racial equity, diversity, inclusion, and awareness of power dynamics.

QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE

While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

Strategic Leadership and Core Knowledge

Relationship Stewardship and Cultivation

Team Management

Education and Experience

SALARY AND BENEFITS

The compensation range for the Deputy Director role is $140,000-160,000. NCHE also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes fully paid health, vision, dental, insurance; group life insurance; short- and long-term disability; and a 401k match.

The NCHE office is based in Washington, D.C., and NCHE staff all currently work from their home offices during the Covid-19 pandemic. Once there is a safe return to the office, staff will be expected to participate in person for key meetings and events. There will be remote consideration for this role.

HOW TO APPLY

More information about NCHE may be found at: www.nationalcollaborative.org. This search is being led by Linh Nguyen, Cara Pearsall, and Andres Marcuse-Gonzalez of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

NCHE is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity.
Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Dr. Gail C. Christopher and Professor john a. powell Named Recipients of 2021 John W. Gardner Leadership Award (Read more).

By Independent Sector

NCHE Receives MacArthur Foundation Grant to Leverage State Data to Improve Health Outcomes in Local Communities Seeking Health Equity

HOPE Initiative Data Key to Spurring Effort to Address Local Social Determinants of Health

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE) today was awarded an $800,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to assist local jurisdictions in leveraging health data that can help mitigate racial inequities in health outcomes, especially in communities of color.

As the leader of the Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative, NCHE compiled comprehensive population health research, including disaggregated data on people of color across the country. Through state data, HOPE tracked 27 life and community indicators that shape health and well-being for families and individuals including social and economic factors, community and safety conditions, physical environment and access to healthcare.

The HOPE research, which was released last year on an accessible state-of-the-art platform, is a breakthrough because it creates a new narrative on health inequities and provides achievable pathways for states to eliminate health disparities. The HOPE Initiative changes the disparity narrative: instead of merely identifying health disparities, HOPE pinpoints where resources must be directed to make meaningful and lasting changes.

HOPE portrays an America that would be dramatically different if the impact of racism embedded in our society was eliminated and everyone experienced equal social, economic and health opportunities. For instance, 70 million more people would live in low poverty neighborhoods; 55 million more adults would live in households with a livable income; and 54 million more adults would achieve very good or excellent health.

“Our HOPE research delivers a narrative that compels corrective action at multiple societal levels,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, the NCHE executive director.  “It creates a new opportunity frame that brings actionable data and information to help states and the nation move beyond measuring disparities to compelling action to achieve health equity. Disparities during the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrate the urgent need for health equity.”

Dr. Christopher thanked the MacArthur Foundation for the grant that comes under their equitable recovery funding. NCHE prioritizes working in partnership with their expanding network of collaborating leaders and organizations committed to achieving health equity.  With the grant, NCHE will expand the impact of the HOPE research by fueling a campaign to advise cities and counties on how the information can be deployed to improve local health outcomes.

“Getting HOPE research into the hands of local change makers requires a collaborative strategy that unites regional, state and local capabilities, as well as private sector and non-profit energy and resources,” said Dr. Christopher.  “This project will leverage the millions invested in HOPE by helping to create the infrastructure needed to amplify this opportunity for achieving health equity in communities across America.”

The MacArthur Foundation project will organize infrastructure that includes NCHE staff and national networks; implementation of equity policies and practices and related accountability approaches in cities and counties; periodic publications and briefs disaggregated by race and ethnicity based on data from states; related webinars, blogs, technical assistance tool kits and resources for use by local leaders.

The grant is part of roughly $80 million in awards MacArthur announced today in support of the foundation’s Equitable Recovery initiative, centered on advancing racial and ethnic justice. The initiative is funded by MacArthur’s social bonds, issued in response to the crises of the pandemic and racial inequity.

“As we emerge from this moment of crisis, we have an opportunity to improve the critical systems that people and places need to thrive. Our systems and structures must be rebuilt,” said MacArthur President John Palfrey. “We are committed to ensuring that our response to the pandemic is focused on supporting the reimagining of systems that create a more just, equitable, and resilient world.”

Led by the NCHE, the HOPE Initiative is a collaboration with Texas Health Institute and Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Center on Society and Health. The HOPE Initiative was created and funded through grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Here are some of the findings that the MacArthur grant will empower states address:

“We will use the HOPE data to spur action addressing the social determinants of health in local communities,” said Dr. Christopher. “The HOPE Initiative is helping create a more just, fair and equitable pandemic recovery that helps address the effects of structural and systemic racism. “

NATIONAL COLLABORATIVE FOR HEALTH EQUITY APPLAUDS AMERICA’S HEALTH RANKINGS HEALTH DISPARITY REPORT

Investing in Comprehensive Data is Critical to Achieving Health Equity

WASHINGTON – The National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE) today applauded the America’s Health Rankings Health Disparities Report as an example of health research that must continue to provide accurate data that is an important tool against health inequities devastating low-income and communities of color across the country.

The Disparities Report, which was produced by The United Health Foundation, found a strong link between educational attainment and health, noting that adults lacking a high school education face the greatest social, economic and health challenges. Households headed by individuals with less than a high school education have a poverty rate of 30.7%, which was six times higher than households headed by college graduates (5.2%).

“We learned from Covid-19 that incomplete health data is detrimental to communities that face health disparities,” said Dr. Gail Christopher NCHE’s executive director.  “The Disparities Report revealed important health trends that can be addressed, and lead to improved health outcomes. We must improve our knowledge of the health challenges faced in communities of color.  That was proven during the pandemic.”

A year ago, NCHE helped launch the Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative, a state-of-the-art platform supporting a new narrative on health inequities and providing comprehensive data on populations of color so it can be utilized as a critical resource for policymakers, as well as the medical and public health fields.

“The HOPE Initiative was groundbreaking research,” said Dr. Christopher. “The data has helped public health officials move beyond identifying inequities in communities of color to spurring action addressing social determinants affecting their health. But we can’t stop there.   The Disparities Report and other research must enlighten public health officials about the trends we often aren’t aware of until too late.”

The Disparities Report found persistent and growing disparities in maternal mortality. In 2015-2019, Black mothers (43.8 deaths per 100,0 0 0 live births) had a maternal mortality rate that was 3.4 times higher than Hispanic mothers (12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births). Between 2005-2009 and 2015-2019, maternal mortality rates increased 22% among Black mothers, from 35.8 to 43.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. But the maternal mortality rate also increased 55% for white mothers (from 11.2 to 17.3 deaths per 100,000 live births) and 23% for Hispanic mothers (from 10.3 to 12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births) during this time period.

Further, the report found that deep and persistent disparities in mental and behavioral health have existed by gender, educational attainment and race and ethnicity – and have worsened for some subpopulation groups. The rate of depression was three times higher for multiracial (27.1%) and American Indian/Alaska Native adults (24.6%) and 2.5 times higher for white adults (21.1%) than Asian/Pacific Islander adults (8.6%). Despite performing better than other groups, Asian/Pacific Islander adults experienced the highest increase (23%) in the rate of depression from 7.0% in 2011-2013 to 8.6% in 2017-2019.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the report said, some progress was made in reducing the rate of severe housing problems. Between 2005-2009 and 2013-2017, households headed by Hispanic individuals experienced the greatest decline (11%) in severe housing problems, followed by Asian/Pacific Islander (8%) and Black individuals (5%). Despite progress in reducing the percentage of households facing severe housing problems, households headed by Hispanic (29.9%), Black (25.3%) and America Indian/Alaska Native (24.2%) individuals had a rate of severe housing problems roughly two times higher than households headed by white (13.4%) individuals.

“This is the type of health data that must continue to flow to policy makers and be leveraged for actions needed to achieve health equity,” Dr. Christopher said.

Full Report Release (PDF)

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Congressional Briefing on Health Equity Data

July 21: 10 a.m. (ET), Virtual

The AAMC will hold a Congressional briefing, “Data for Health Equity: the Foundation for Creating Healthier Communities.”

Register here: https://aamc-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZEsoBOeOQGOz6NUNqNYiPQ

NCHE has partnered with KIND Snacks (KIND) to support the company’s efforts to address racial inequality and inequity facing Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities across areas of racial justice, education, food & insecurity.

With data for their Health, Opportunity, and Equity (HOPE) Initiative, Feeding America’s 2020 food insecurity projects, and Census Data, NCHE helped guide the allocation of KIND bar donations to food insecure communities across the country. To identify states experiencing the highest levels of food insecurity, NCHE used a combination of HOPE data for state information on food insecurity and Feeding America’s 2020 county projections.  With food insecure communities the focus of KIND’s donations, NCHE also used Census data to provide the demographic mapping.

Over 1 million bars have been sent so far to the following communities:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 21, 2021 

Contact:
Michael K. Frisby
[email protected]/202-625-4328 

Statement by Dr. Gail C. Christopher, Executive Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity 

GUILTY VERDICT IN GEORGE FLOYD MURDER TRIAL MARKS MAJOR ADVANCE TOWARDS RACIAL JUSTICE

WASHINGTON – “When Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill read the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, many of us openly wept.  Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was found guilty on all counts for the brutal murder of George Floyd. It was a public execution of a Black man lying helplessly in the street as police colleagues looked on callously and stunned civilian witnesses pleaded for the officer to lift his knee from Floyd’s neck.

“Chauvin is now being held accountable for his actions.

“President Biden and Vice President Harris courageously stepped into this moment of shared relief and collective humanity by calling for racial equity and publicly asserting the significance of this trial’s outcome for our nation’s journey toward racial justice.

“At NCHE, we are among the many who wept and exhaled as we accepted this sign of renewed hope that justice for people of color, especially unarmed Black people killed by police, is possible within our legal system. Centuries of injustice have demonstrated that America’s legal system is built on the failed belief in a racial hierarchy. It can and must be transformed.

“It begins with a shared vision for transformative change and the deep belief that it can happen. A rare, miraculous confluence of factors combined to create this unprecedented outcome; it is so rare that law enforcement is held accountable, especially when the victim is Black.  This may be a harbinger of system transformation. Floyd’s death spurred the largest, most sustained diverse mobilization of protests and calls for racial justice in history.  We believe this was a determining factor in the outcome.  The masses could not be denied.

“NCHE stands in solidarity with Floyd‘s family, the Black Lives Matter movement and millions of people of all races and ethnicities around the world. We send heartfelt thanks for protesting, never giving up and demanding justice. For the first time in history, millions of people stood up for a Black man, for George Floyd, and in so doing, stood up for the countless other victims. “Throughout our nation’s history, people of color have suffered and died from racist cruelty and brutality, while the legal system worked against them, rather than for justice for all.

“Transformation of entrenched systemic racism requires galvanized public will. At NCHE, we continue working to build that resolve and commitment to racial and health equity through ongoing partnerships that support truth and racial healing, convenings of community, public and private sector leaders and leveraging relevant research and data to inform effective public policies and private practices that fuel progress and change.

“Today, we join millions in breathing a bit freer now that a guilty verdict has been rendered and the humanity of George Floyd is re-affirmed.  Our march for justice goes on.”

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Full PDF: HERE

By Mark Guarino; www.washingtonpost.com
Read more