A Mid-Point Review of Our Strategic Plan

August 2, 2012

Today’s post was written by Patricia Baker, president & CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation.

2012 represents the fifth year, and mid-point, of the Connecticut Health Foundation’s (CT Health) ten-year strategic plan. A mid-point is both a symbol and an opportunity for reflection and review of the work that’s been done with the goal of becoming even more effective in our work.

The world has changed significantly during those five years. We find ourselves in the grip of an economic recession that has reduced federal, state, organizational, and even personal budgets. In response, many of us are and have been working to curtail our spending, and the implications for the health of CT are enormous. Many cannot afford the healthcare they so desperately need, and funds for programs such as Medicaid are being cut, creating a vicious cycle that leads to worsening health across CT and the rest of the country. Given the state of the state, as it were, our work, and the work of our grantees, is especially critical at this time.

At the same time, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, and just recently, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the law as constitutional. The ACA will afford a tremendous opportunity to lower or even eliminate the existing barriers to healthcare. Not only will health insurance be more affordable, reforms within the ACA will institute quality measures which will improve the delivery of health care, as well as the care itself, especially for people of color.

This is the landscape in which we have been conducting our mid-point review. As we sought to evaluate our work toward our mission, and within our priority areas, we considered the following:

  • Children’s mental health: Federal estimates indicate that somewhere between 21,100 and 46,000 children and youth in CT have moderate or serious emotional disorder at any given time.
  • The Affordable Care Act: More than 200,000 CT residents stand to gain health coverage under the ACA.
  • Racial and ethnic health disparities: Hispanic and African American residents respectively are roughly 5.4 times more likely to lack health insurance as compared to white residents.

To determine how to evaluate and prioritize, we created a set of guiding principles, perhaps the most important of which was the desire to go deep and not wide to make the biggest impact.

We’re still in the process of solidifying these recommendations, as they’re not ready for prime time just yet. Right now we’re meeting with leaders across CT to get their feedback and reaction to our draft suggestions. Once final recommendations are in place, an announcement will be made.

We are, and remain, the Connecticut Health Foundation. Our mission remains unchanged. We will continue to strive to improve the health of CT residents, and align our priorities accordingly.

As a final note, I’d like to take a moment to say, I’m really proud of the CT Health staff for their hard work, critical thinking, and dedication to making the right choices for the foundation. While there’s more work to come, there is no doubt in my mind that we’ll continue to rise to the occasion. My thanks to all of you.

Photo from fotolia.com.

4 Responses to A Mid-Point Review of Our Strategic Plan

  1. Deloris Vaughn says:

    I returned to Connecticut to care for my parents after both of them experienced a medical crisis and were hospitalized at the same time. They were both treated in the Yale hospital system and the level of quality care they received was very inconsistent. I had to do battle with doctors on their behalf that was quite exhausting so I know there is still much work to be done to achieve system’s change for health equity in CT.. I am pleased to know that CT Health is still in the fight.

  2. Patricia Baker says:

    Delores, I wish your parents good health. Thank you for your contribution and support to the mission of CT Health. pat

  3. Victor G. Villagra, MD says:

    Pat,
    Thank you for this excellent and timely communication. You have certainly captured the key issues affecting the future of health care in CT.
    It is appropriate to offer a status report even if the final recommendations are not ready for “prime time”. Seeking feedback from key stakeholders will harness diverse perspectives and inform the organization of issues that may have not yet been considered regarding the proposed strategic direction.
    The communication also reflects CHF’s modus operandi as a dynamic organization that recognizes the adapts readily to changing conditions in the health care environment and beyond.
    Victor

    • Patricia Baker says:

      Victor thank your for your response . Given that the opportunity that health reform offers the country and the state, Health Information Technology and Exchange are in some ways the glue that can actualize the desired accountability and quality. Can you speak to what you hope to see for Connecticut in the next year and a half. pat

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