Assessing Capacity for Racial Equity Work in Health Care Organizations: A Pilot Grant

Sorcha Brophy, Health Policy and Management

Sorcha Brophy, Health Policy and Management

In recent years, medical organizations across the United States have expressed unprecedented enthusiasm for addressing racial health equity and systemic racism. However, these organizations need guidance regarding their capacity to engage in racial health equity work and tools to guide them in implementing this work effectively. While some high-resourced medical organizations have dedicated funds and staffing to racial equity work, low-resourced organizations such as community health centers (CHCs), many of which disproportionately serve low-income communities of color, lack resources to devote to staff, consultants, and assessments.

In this pilot project, the research team proposes to bring together a team of students at Columbia University interested in developing skills around organizational assessment and racial equity with a consultant with expertise in equitable health systems design to survey the needs of CHCs in the New York City area. The research team will conduct interviews with employees as well as site assessments to ascertain the capacity of CHCs to implement care models using an equity framework and to pinpoint challenges. The goal will be to develop an online assessment tool for CHCs and to provide the foundation for future larger-scale projects.

This project was funded through the Addressing Racism: A Call to Action for Higher Education initiative of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement.