The American Constitution Society, in its support for the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Commission (TRHT), recently spoke with Dr. Gail Christopher from the National Collaborative for Health Equity to learn why TRHT is necessary in the United States.

 

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)

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 26, 2021

 

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

 

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

A TRUTH, RACIAL HEALING AND TRANSFORMATION COMMISSION CAN BRING UNITY, EQUITY AND RACIAL HEALING TO OUR NATION

“NCHE applauds Rep. Barbara Lee and Sen. Cory Booker for reintroducing a resolution in the House and Senate calling for the nation’s first national Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Commission.  After four years of divisive rhetoric and increased violence fueled by racial hatred, it is critical that America has a mechanism to bring communities together to heal wounds of the past and find pathways for a more just future in Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.  The Jan. 6 insurrection and assault on the Capitol was an attack on the votes and civil liberties of millions of voters of color, and subsequently on the integrity of our democracy.  The attack underscored the need for racial healing and a transformation in our people, our leaders, our communities and our institutions.

“This is a big ask.  And to be accomplished, we need the power, resources and coordination that could be provided by the federal government partnering with communities to lead the healing process. This is a moment of racial reckoning.  The Covid-19 pandemic’s economic, mortality and morbidity inequities are contributing to this unprecedented moment. Clearly, enough of the nation wants to transform systems to address equity and fairness across the land.  Racial healing is now an imperative for protecting our national security – united communities can be important assets to help prevent future violence. Unifying and healing America can be accomplished through TRHT – the coordinated multi-sector, intergovernmental effort embedded in and led by local communities.

“The Biden administration promised to build back better and what’s better for America today is addressing the legacy of racism – the past and present. As a nation, it is critically important that we acknowledge the inequities of the past, their persistence today, and then act earnestly to heal the wounds and move forward together. NCHE believes that a TRHT Commission can help jettison the hierarchy of human value and launch a new era where all human beings are valued and have a capacity to see ourselves in one another.

“That’s the America that so many of us want.”

 

Download PDF Version

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Policy Recommendations

As the federal-state program providing access to essential health care to over 77 million low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities, Medicaid has a unique opportunity to address the social risk factors that disproportionately impact these vulnerable populations. Caused by the socioeconomic conditions in which we live, learn, work, and play, these socioeconomic barriers or “social determinants of health” include inadequate access to nutritious food, lack of affordable housing, lack of convenient and efficient transportation options, limited opportunities for quality education and meaningful employment, limited broadband access, and more (Read the full report here).

 

Drawing on interviews with grassroots leaders from across the country, this report explores how the political landscape, funding, staff skills, leadership, and partnerships influence the ability of community-based organizations to work effectively with public health agencies to address health inequities and racial injustices.

What we heard from the grassroots leaders we spoke to was a tremendous openness to strengthening their own organizations and the public health institutions they partnered with to learn, grow, and become ever more effective in their efforts to achieve more equitable health outcomes. We also uncovered challenges grassroots organizations and health agencies face. Here, we articulate the structural factors, the organizational practices, and ways of navigating partnerships and community engagement that have facilitated grassroots organizations and health agencies working together to advance health equity.

This paper was made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Download full publication: Partnering for health equity: Grassroots organizations on collaborating with public health agencies

In January/February 2015, the National Voices Project (NVP) conducted the Boys and Young Men of Color (BYMOC) survey, in partnership with the National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE). The survey was administered by GfK, an international survey research organization that maintains KnowledgePanel, a nationally representative, web-enabled panel of adults 18 years or older across the United States.

Some key findings in the report includes:

Read the full Impact Report (PDF)

In January/February 2015, the National Voices Project (NVP) conducted the Girls and Young Women of Color survey, in partnership with the National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE). The survey was administered by GfK, an international survey research organization that maintains KnowledgePanel, a nationally representative, web-enabled panel of adults 18 years or older across the United States.

Some key findings in the report includes:

(Read the Full Impact Report PDF)

In 2009, the PLACE MATTERS teams embarked upon a process called “blueprinting” that bought together subject matter experts, communities, and other stakeholders in a problem solving process for documenting lessons, process,  methods, and strategies in ways that are useful for PLACE MATTERS Team’s work in communities.  The Community Strategies to End Racism report highlights key strategies and tactics, through this report, which can be tailored to address  health inequities in other communities and jurisdictions.

Place Matters: Advancing Health Equity documents some of the Place Matters Team’s early successes and efforts  to transform how communities understand and tackle persistent racial and ethnic health inequities.