Health Equity Symposium Focuses on Bias and the Impact on Disparities in Health Outcomes

CHA’s 8th annual Health Equity Symposium, Improving Health Equity: Bias and the Impact on Disparities in Health Outcomes, highlighted how healthcare providers can deliver higher quality, equitable care by developing self-awareness around unconscious bias, as well as by proactively addressing the social determinants of health.

The day-long forum, attended by more than 100 participants from across the care continuum, featured a keynote address by David Williams, PhD, the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University.  Dr. Williams discussed studies that show people have inherent, unconscious racial biases; institutional discrimination also negatively affects people.

“We need to address both individual discrimination and institutional discrimination.  Both matter, but institutional discrimination is the driver of inequalities.  By addressing the social policies of this country, we can improve the health of everyone,” Dr. Williams said.  “Discrimination is a risk factor for a broad range of health outcomes,” he added.  “How we treat each other on a day-to-day basis has a profound effect on health.”

In her discussion, Mistreating Health Inequalities in the Genomic Age, Dorothy Roberts, JD, Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology, the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, and Professor of Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania, noted that, “there is an empathy gap that is related to a deep belief that people are different and we don’t have to treat them the same way.

“We've focused on cultural competency as the solution to good health, but we should be looking at structural competency,” Ms. Roberts stated.  “What are the upstream forces that affect minorities and prevent them from having good health, this is what is often overlooked.  A more just society would be a healthier one.”

Grace Damio, Director of Research and Service Initiatives at the Hispanic Health Council; Lawrence Young, Community Health and Well Being Leader for Saint Mary's Hospital; and Reverend Aaron Miller from the Metropolitan Community Church of Hartford and chaplain at Yale New Haven Hospital, presented on healthcare experiences in the Latino, African American/black, and LGBTQ communities.  The focus was on increasing healthcare provider awareness about how race and gender impacts health, healthcare, and the patient’s expectations of treatment.

The day capped off with a presentation from Michael Brownstein, PhD: Implicit Bias: Cause, Consequences, Change.  Dr. Brownstein, Associate Professor of Philosophy, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), noted that there is abundant evidence that most people, despite their conscious beliefs, values, and attitudes, have implicit biases.

“Our implicit biases in a medical context can affect how we treat patients,” said Dr. Brownstein. 

The Symposium is a key component of CHA’s ongoing education about health equity.  In addition, CHA has launched a Social Determinants of Health Collaborative, a three-year initiative for hospitals to address the social factors that influence health outcomes.  


Connecticut Hospitals Stand With Florida Hospitals

During hurricane Michael and in its ongoing aftermath, hospitals in Florida and Georgia have been putting patients first – even under difficult circumstances.  Thousands of doctors, nurses, technicians, and support personnel worked around the clock to care for those in need, even as their own homes and families were threatened by the storm.  News reports indicate that 32 people in four states have died due to the storm.

In Florida, four hospitals and 11 nursing facilities were closed, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  In addition, as the storm rolled up the coast, 35 hospitals or nursing homes in Georgia lost electricity and were operating with generators.

The Florida Hospital Association has established a fund to help hospital employees who experienced significant property loss or damage from the hurricane.

"Our dedicated hospital teams were on the job – before, during, and now after the storm – helping their patients, colleagues, and communities," FHA President Bruce Rueben wrote in a message to members.  "Although the storm's full impact is still being assessed, we know that many of our hospital colleagues lost homes or experienced significant property damage.  Those in the Panhandle need our support now more than ever."

The American Hospital Association is contributing to the fund.  All administrative services are being provided in-kind so that 100 percent of donations will assist those in the Federal Emergency Management Agency-designated disaster areas.  Visit Florida Hospital Association's webpage for more information or to make a donation.


Save The Date: Nurse Leadership Forum November 13, 2018

The 2018 Nurse Leadership Forum will focus on issues impacting the transformation under way in healthcare, including strategies and practical tools to help nurse leaders not only survive, but thrive in today's constantly changing healthcare environment.

New York Times bestselling author and star of MTV’s The Buried Life Ben Nemtin will present the keynote address at this year’s Forum.  Seeking to change the monotony of day-to-day life in college, Mr. Nemtin and his friends set out on a two-week road trip with a camera and a borrowed RV to complete a list of “100 things to do before you die.”  For each item they accomplished on their list, they also helped complete strangers cross something off their own list.  Since then, Mr. Nemtin and his friends have crossed off nearly all 100 listed items and have encouraged millions to believe that anyone can achieve their dreams.  His bucket list quest has taken him from the White House, playing basketball with President Barack Obama (#95), to Oprah Winfrey’s couch (#61), to having a beer with Prince Harry in London (#82).  Currently, Mr. Nemtin is crossing off #91: Make a Movie, with The Buried Life feature documentary film set to release this year.

View Brochure | Event Registration


Education Updates

Designing the Healthcare-Community-Based Organization Connection of the Future
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Event Registration

A key component of CHA’s Statewide Collaborative to Address Social Determinants of Health is the development of a technology platform through which hospitals, healthcare providers, and community-based organizations communicate to manage patients’ social determinants of health-related needs effectively.  This program will focus on designing the referral and communication process for the future.

Safe Patient Handling Forum
Thursday, October 25, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
View Brochure | Event Registration

As part of the statewide Safer Hospitals Initiative, CHA, in partnership with PMA Companies, is hosting a Safe Patient Handling Forum.  This Board-driven initiative is focused on providing healthcare staff with strategies and practices to improve worker safety, minimize workplace violence, and facilitate the adoption of peer-to-peer support programs.  

The Forum will feature data-driven best practices, industry standards, and new strategies for reducing patient handling injuries.  Attendees will have an opportunity to view and learn more about safe patient handling equipment currently on the market.  Continuing education credits are available. 

De-escalation Training
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Event Registration

De-escalation training will equip participants with proven strategies for safely defusing anxious, hostile, or violent behavior at the earliest possible stage.  CHA is approved by the Crisis Prevention Institute to provide an abridged version of its Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® foundation course using a blend of online and classroom learning to its members.  Participants will receive CPI’s Blue Card™ confirmation.  The program includes approximately two hours of online pre-work and a pre-test.  Please note: the pre-work and pre-test must be completed prior to attending the classroom portion of the program at CHA.

HRO Leadership Method Training
Thursday, November 1, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Event Registration

Leadership Method Training is for organizations that are new to high reliability or for new management employees in organizations that are already on the high reliability journey.  Both hospital and ambulatory organization leadership practices will be addressed.  The leadership session is designed to teach hospital or ambulatory leaders the concepts of high reliability science and behaviors.  The sessions are structured for leaders at the manager level and above. 

HRO Safety Coach Training
Friday, November 2, 2018
1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Event Registration

Safety Coaches are peer mentors, designed to recognize and acknowledge good high reliability behavior and to remind people about opportunities to improve behavior that does not stay true to high reliability concepts. 

HRO Rounding to Influence
Friday, November 2, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Event Registration

The program teaches leaders how to go out on the units to coach, mentor, and sustain high reliability habits and practices by interacting with front line staff and medical staff.