The Health Justice Award, graciously sponsored by Aetna, a CVS Health Company, recognizes organizations that have successfully implemented a program or intervention to reduce health disparities. This marks a significant way for the Coalition to elevate the efforts of an organization doing critical work to address the social determinants of health and related gaps in health outcomes.
CONGRATULATIONS TO EACH OF THE FINALISTS!
The Root Cause Coalition thanks the many innovative and thoughtful Health Justice Award submissions with a special congratulations to the finalists:
Matter Health is a Nashville, Tennessee-based social enterprise that was founded to bring primary care services directly to low-income, underserved seniors where they live. Matter Health builds out and operates primary care clinics within the area of low-income/affordable senior properties. Matter has partnered with a variety of developers and Public Housing Authorities to build-out clinics in their senior properties to bring health care directly to underserved seniors living in affordable housing. Matter currently operates 21 clinics across the states of Tennessee and Georgia. They are improving health outcomes and enhancing the daily lives of senior residents by the Primary Care 4 Cs and Wrap-Around Services including Comprehensive Care, Continuous Care, Coordinated Care and “First” Contact Care.
Credit Builders Alliance
Credit Builders Alliance, with support from Kaiser Permanente, developed a program to improve outcomes in communities across the United States. The program focuses on improving credit scores because they impact job opportunities, insurance costs, housing options and loan costs which relate to the social determinants of health. Since 2021, Kaiser Permanente and Credit Builders Alliance have collaborated on a four-part program to improve health equity by improving financial health, specifically credit health. Both organizations believe that reducing credit disparities can reduce health disparities in communities. Working together, this collaboration built the capacity of 319 local nonprofit organizations—including those providing loans; those serving small businesses; those providing affordable housing; and those providing financial coaching and counseling services—to expand the services they are offering to low-income residents, particularly People of Color.
Progressive Community Health Centers
Progressive Community Health Centers (CHC) provides primary health, mental health and supportive care to 15,000 patients annually who are medically underserved, under-and uninsured in Milwaukee’s northwest, west and central areas of the city spanning three clinical locations. In 2022, 83% of patients identified as African American. In 2022, diabetes was the third most common diagnosis among Progressive CHC patients (trailing hypertension and obesity). Progressive CHC’s diabetic care encompasses a multi-pronged approach of clinical pharmacy, podiatry, patient education, and retinopathy. In 2022, Progressive CHC earned the Performance Excellence Award from the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association for its rate of controlled diabetes (A1c >7%).
Every child deserves accessible, inclusive and equitable health care. That has been the driving force of the health equity team at Children’s Minnesota, and they have been on a mission to ensure this is the reality for all kids and families. Children’s Minnesota’s health equity team has made a big impact in advancing equity and reducing health disparities not only inside the walls at Children’s Minnesota, but throughout the communities where kids live, learn and play. Throughout the past three years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the health equity team has championed community-based vaccine clinics for kids and their families—especially to the most underserved in Twin Cities neighborhoods.
The healthy equity team set out to address the root causes of vaccine disparities in these communities: access and a lack of vaccine education or medical mistrust that stems from systemic racism. Thus, the team strategically brought immunity to the community and vaccinated hundreds of kids and families at community centers, elementary schools and block parties in neighborhoods ranked most vulnerable for economic and housing stability, and access to health care from the Center for Disease Control’s Social Vulnerability Index. The team’s passion and effort to reduce health disparities by bringing care and vaccines directly to kids and families in the community allows The Kid Experts® at Children’s Minnesota to meet them where they’re at and ensure they don’t fall behind on vaccines to keep them healthy.
Siena Francis House
In August 2022, Siena Francis House, in partnership with the Health & Housing Coalition in Omaha, opened the doors to Nebraska’s first medical respite program. The project seeks to fill a gap in appropriate access to care for individuals experiencing homelessness who are discharged from the hospital setting. The Health & Housing Coalition has been coming together since 2019 to partner on a housing first model that seeks to save costs, time and resources and invest in the long-term health of individuals. The coalition seeks to solve issues that have gone ignored for some time, such as uniform discharge processes and investing in a shared system of care for individuals seeking a medical respite solution prior to housing. The project also creates an additional opportunity for engagement and intervention through supportive services connections made in the medical respite setting. The program is open to anyone experiencing homelessness that is being discharged from a health care setting. While in the program, Siena Francis House offers case management, wrap around services and the development of personalized housing plans.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, The Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine
In response to the need for safer and more affirming K-12 school spaces, Lurie Children’s Potocsnak Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine’s Community Programs & Initiative’s team implements comprehensive programs and services to support the holistic needs and health of transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) youth. These systemic and individualized student supports include: gender equity trainings, technical assistance and consultation for schools, policy/procedure development and implementation, inclusive and affirming sexual health education, Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) specific sexual health education, and social groups for TGNC youth.