We have a new strategic plan that begins in January 2024. Want to know more? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions, as well as information on how you can learn more.
What’s in the strategic plan?
Our new strategic plan has four goal areas:
- Expanding health care coverage
- Sustainable payment for community health workers
- Maternal health equity for people of color
- Fostering the infrastructure for health equity (which includes supporting advocacy, media coverage of health care, and data on patients’ race, ethnicity, and language preference)
Are you changing the foundation’s mission and focus on people of color?
No. Our mission is still to improve the health of Connecticut residents, and we will continue to focus on health equity for people of color.
Similarly, we plan to continue our overall approach of focusing on systems change – that is, finding ways to change the policies, rules, and practices that affect people’s ability to be as healthy as possible.
What are you changing?
The biggest change in this plan is the introduction of a goal focused on maternal health equity for people of color. This is a new area for the foundation, and we anticipate spending the first year of the plan learning from others and determining how we can best add value to the work already occurring in this field.
Where can I read the plan?
Where can I read a shorter version of the plan?
How can I learn more?
We will be holding two webinars for people to learn about the plan. They are:
- Tuesday, Oct. 10: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm (Register at this link)
- Thursday, Oct. 12: 9:30 am – 11:00 am (Register at this link)
In addition, our staff will be holding “office hours” around the state in the next few weeks. These are opportunities to drop by, say hello, ask questions, or chat. You’re welcome to drop in, but it will help us plan if you sign up in advance using the links below.
- Bridgeport: Tuesday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Burroughs Community Center
- Hartford: Thursday, Oct. 19, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Hartford Public Library Albany Branch
- Hartford: Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., Connecticut Health Foundation office
- New Haven: Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Gateway Community College downtown campus
- New London: Monday, Nov. 6, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., The Public Library of New London
- Danbury: Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Danbury Library
- Waterbury: Thursday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m, Mattatuck Museum
How did you decide on this plan?
Our planning process included research, interviews and focus groups with more than 65 people, and reflection on how we could be most effective. We worked with the consulting firm Community Wealth Partners.
We selected our specific areas of focus based on where there was momentum to advance health equity, where we could add value as a foundation, and where there were opportunities to make change using the tools we have.
Does this affect my current grant?
If you have a grant now, nothing will change about your grant. If you choose to apply for additional funding in the future, your project would need to align with the new strategic plan. If you have more specific questions, reach out to the grants team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will you still have president’s discretionary grants?
Yes, president’s discretionary grants will still be available for projects that align with the foundation’s overall mission.
Is your grants process changing?
We frequently review our grants process to see how we can make improvements, but nothing will change immediately based on the new strategic plan.
Why does your plan focus on maternal health? Does it also focus on infant or child health?
We named maternal health for people of color in our plan as a way to focus our work on this topic. We recognize that maternal and infant health are intertwined, and that infant health is critically important. Our assessment was that starting with a focus on maternal health would be most closely aligned with our strengths. In addition, we know this work will be done in partnership with many other organizations, and we recognize the strong work already being done by organizations focused on infant and child health. We hope our contributions to maternal health can benefit their work as well.
Why do you focus on people of color rather than maternal health for all?
We recognize that there are challenges facing all pregnant people. At the same time, data is extremely clear that there are stark racial disparities in maternal health outcomes, particularly for Black mothers. While many solutions to health challenges are universal and can benefit everyone, we have seen time and again that the reverse does not necessarily happen. That is, unless there is specific attention paid to the impact of a particular policy or solution on people of color, they may not benefit from it to the same degree as others.
It is also important to note that maternal health disparities cannot be fully explained by other factors such as education or socioeconomic status. Although education is typically linked to better health outcomes, Black women with college degrees are more likely to die during pregnancy than white women who did not graduate high school. Similar gaps exist when controlling for income. This data tells us that it’s critically important to make sure that any strategies we pursue will in fact benefit people of color and help to close the gaps in outcomes.