Online Program

A Foundation's Strategy to Ensure Equity in All Healthcare Policies: Lessons Learned from the Connecticut Health Foundation

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Tiffany Donelson, MPH, Connecticut Health Foundation, Hartford, CT
Patricia Baker, Connecticut Health Foundation, Hartford, CT
The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) has broken new ground in advancing equity in the state’s healthcare system, by using a systems approach to ensure increased access and use of better quality health care. In the past two years, it has focused its goal on promoting health equity. In the most recent evaluation to assess the foundation’s success in impacting systems and policy change, the evaluation found that the foundation was able to increase enrollment in affordable health insurance plan; support the integration of physical health, behavioral health, and oral health care services and optimal role of the safety net in health care reform; strengthen leadership and advocacy capacity for health equity; and help hold systems accountable to health equity. The foundation was able to do this through its three-pronged approach that simultaneously supported strategic grantmaking, policy advocacy, and strategic communications. It also has cultivated a culture of data-driven decision-making and a sense of common purpose among its grantees—to ensure health equity for all Connecticut residents. At the same time, the foundation continues to struggle with balancing its role as a leader, capacity-building, and grantmaker. The CT Health’s experience offers lessons to other states, philanthropic institutions, and nonprofits interested in advancing health equity as they reform their states’ healthcare system. The goal of this session is to describe how the foundation executes its health equity goal, and lessons learned and challenges related to the role of philanthropy in advancing health equity.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe how a philanthropic institution has strived for health equity in state policies, procedures, and practices, and lessons learned and challenges. Discuss the balancing act of philanthropic institutions in supporting and leading policy advocacy and systems change.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities/Inequities, System Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As vice president of program at the Connecticut Health Foundation, I oversee the grantmaking and program aspects of the foundation's work. I also work closely with the foundation's president and vice president for communications and policy to implement our three-pronged approach to embed health equity in all healthcare policies in the state.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.