How are They Leading Now? Christi Holmes, Class of 2010
One of our Health Leadership Fellows was recently awarded the distinction of being one of Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40 for her work in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities (REHD). As REHD is a central focus of her profile, this will help raise broader awareness of this issue.
Meet Christi Holmes, a Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) Leadership Fellow from the class of 2010, as well as a Senior Fellow to the 2012 class. She is the Vice President of Membership Development and Health Equity at the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) (a grantee of CT Health).
Since 2008, Christi has spearheaded a project to raise the cultural competence of CT physicians. Her theory was that if physicians were trained during medical school and residency to understand cultural and linguistic differences, they would go on to practice medicine in a culturally sensitive way.
For physicians already out in the field, CSMS has created ongoing medical education modules. The result has been Care in Context: A Physician’s Guide in Reducing Health Disparities, already presented to over 1,500 physicians, and made available to 5,000 more. Also in process are two separate grants for training CT Health preceptors to teach residents cultural competency, and for studying hospital re-admissions among disadvantaged populations.
With a membership of approximately 7,000 physicians and medical students, CSMS is creating a sizable systems change within the state.
“I’m honored to be one of the 40 under 40 recognized by Connecticut Magazine, but I’m even more proud of the Society for taking on this work and challenging the internal organizational perceptions,” said Christi.
The program has received wide national attention. CSMS has been selected to serve on the National Commission to End Health Care Disparities, and Christi sits on their Education and Outreach steering committee. Additionally, the American Medical Association (AMA) requested that CSMS present Care in Context at its 2011 House of Delegates annual meeting.
Christi credits the Fellows program for making her more effective in her work. “The Fellows program provided the roadmap for effective messaging, advocacy and leadership skills to enable my efforts further,” said Christi.
We’re still recruiting for our 2013 class of Health Leadership Fellows (deadline of 4/2 is less than a month away)! You still have time to apply to our program, which will give enhance your skills to achieve health equity in CT.
*Photo by Bob Grier Photography