CEO Update: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Current health statistics portray the obvious racial inequities and disparities throughout the state. As the State Office of Rural Health, CRHC strives to be community informed through the work of rural healthcare providers in Colorado. CRHC is committed to racial equity in order to achieve healthcare equity for all Coloradans. CRHC’s equity statement is: The Colorado Rural Health Center recognizes that many factors impact the health of individuals and communities, including geography, income, and race. We recognize the existence and power of historical and ongoing systematic structures that have excluded individuals from leading their most healthy lives. We are committed to repairing injustices by championing policies that recognize these inequalities and foster community-led solutions. We are actively working to include diverse opinions and perspectives in our decision-making processes and advocacy work and recognize that we all live better lives when everyone has a seat at the table.
CRHC has begun to offer Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) educational sessions at the organization’s two conferences and during 2022 this topic was presented in a breakout entitled: Getting to the Root of Disparities: Social and Organizational Bias and Inequity. The focus was advancing equity starts with data, but more specifically, reliable and disaggregated data that can shed light on health disparities, their causes, and potential solutions. Without it, we depend on assumptions of equitable care, likely ignoring the needs of a diverse patient population. This session is intended to support healthcare organizations in engaging in a deliberate process of identifying what could be driving a disparity while simultaneously looking inward to examine the ways in which your QI efforts and organizational commitments (or lack thereof) to diversity, equity, and inclusion are either helping or hindering the advancement of health equity. In 2023 be on the lookout for DEI sessions at the Forum Conference – April 12 – 14, 2023 and at our Annual Conference – October 4 – 6, 2023.
CRHC has developed the following goals for our organization work on in 2023. Advancing Equity in Colorado through CRHC Policy Work, Foster an Inclusive Internal Culture and Use an Equity Lens in all CRHC Member Services. In addition to internal training, CRHC’s Board of Directors are receiving education as well. It is CRHC’s goal to continue our journey in order to make changes reflective of true diversity, equity, and inclusion. Have you begun your journey?