Addressing Racial Equity in Health and Beyond
Not all children and families have access to health care, especially health care that is high quality, culturally relevant, and free from bias. Because not everyone has equal opportunity to access the resources needed for health and well-being, disparities are pervasive from the earliest years of life.
At NICHQ, we’re dedicated to ensuring all children achieve their optimal health. This requires increasing access to health and working together to implement systems changes rooted in anti-racism and equity.
The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality joins the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in encouraging communities to talk about the impact of racism and the need for racial justice and racial healing during the sixth annual National Day of Racial Healing on January 18, 2022. The day is an opportunity to bring all people together and inspire collective action to create a more just and equitable world.
Join organizations like NICHQ in spreading the word about this year’s National Day of Racial Healing, and invite friends, family, colleagues to start a conversation. RSVP for the National Day of Racial Healing live premiere at 3 p.m. EST and use the hashtag #HowWeHeal to share your virtual conversations!
NICHQ’s Equity Systems Continuum Initiative
The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality, with funding by the WKKF, is building upon an evidence-informed conceptual framework known as the Equity Systems Continuum to describe and define the systems that individuals and organizations currently operate within: Supremist-Designed System, Savior-Designed Systems, Ally-Designed Systems, and Equity-Empowered Systems. The Global Infant Safe Sleep Center (GISS) developed the original framework and serves as an ongoing partner in the project.
At the end of this initiative, organizations will be able to identify where they are on the continuum by utilizing an Equity Systems Auditing Tool (ESAT), ultimately identifying ways to improve their organization. As we develop the ESAT, this is also an opportunity for NICHQ to assess, share, and nurture our own internal progress along the Equity Systems Continuum.
Read More About NICHQ’s Equity Work
Many disparities in health are rooted in inequities, affecting opportunities and resources needed to be as healthy as possible. We are committed to achieving equity in all forms, including race, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability. Join us on our equity journey as we work to make our vision that "every child achieves their optimal health" a reality. Read more.
A Commitment to Anti-Racism
NICHQ has united with three other national maternal and child health organizations in a public commitment to undoing racism as a key driver to improve maternal and infant health outcomes, highlighting irrefutable disparities in morbidity and mortality rates across racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. Learn more about our joint action plan.
Related Articles about Equity
Racial Inequality and Injustice and the Health of America’s Children
Our nation is hurting. Many are afraid, angry, anxious, and frustrated as we witness institutional racism and social injustice, once again, ravaging communities of color. NICHQ CEO Scott D. Berns calls for meaningful change to end to systemic racism and injustice in our country.
A Physician’s Reflections on Racism and Treating Sickle Cell Disease
For NICHQ’s current and future work, I am motivated by wanting to be a better version of myself in service of others. Wondering whether my own implicit biases impacted my care of patients and families, I realize that I cannot redo past ER experiences. If I could go back, I would slow down to acknowledge and try to set my biases aside and approach patients from a personally more informed perspective. But now, I can use my past, present, and future experiences to ensure NICHQ is amplifying important lessons from this multi-year effort reflecting the compassion, care, and commitment of hundreds of dedicated professionals in pursuit of equitable, accessible, and quality healthcare for people living with sickle cell disease.
Four Steps to Address Racism’s Impact on Maternal and Child Health
Racism has been baked into U.S. systems and structures since enslavement, and Black families and other people of color are still suffering its consequences. As health professionals, it’s vital to acknowledge that all forms of racism—institutional, personally mediated and internalized—are real, are present in health systems, and are adversely affecting the health of Black families. One person can’t solve a systemic problem, but there are impactful steps everyone can take to help address it.
Using Quality Improvement to Address Racial Equity
In the U.S., the gap in health outcomes between non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white children continues to widen, with children of color more frequently suffering from chronic and preventable health conditions. Incorporating both a health and racial equity lens can help us drive sustainable improvements and counteract the role racism plays as key determinant of health. Here are four pieces of advice for applying that lens.
The Impact of Institutional Racism on Maternal and Child Health
Embedded within persistent disparities are the ongoing effects of institutional racism—racism that began with the enslavement of Black people, was embedded in our earliest institutions, and has continued to influence policies and practices ever since.
Racism and Public Health: Seeking an Improved Approach for the New Decade
"Racism is a public health crisis. It harms women, children, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles across the country. It harms all of us—it has for over 400 years and continues to today." - NICHQ President and CEO Scott Berns shares his priorities for 2020 and beyond.