HARTFORD, Conn. (Oct. 4, 2023) – The Connecticut Health Foundation is launching a new strategic plan in 2024, beginning the next chapter in the private, independent foundation’s focus on health equity for people of color.
The five-year plan includes four goal areas: expanding health care coverage, sustainable funding for community health workers, maternal health equity for people of color, and fostering the infrastructure needed to advance health equity.
Under the new plan, the foundation will continue its focus on systems change – that is, changing the policies, rules, and practices that influence people’s ability to be as healthy as possible.
The plan was developed through a nine-month process that included research and gathering feedback from more than 65 people. The process aimed to determine where there was momentum to advance health equity and where the foundation could add value using its tools of grantmaking, policy advocacy, research, convening, and strategic communications.
The new strategic plan has four focus areas:
- Expanding health care coverage: The foundation’s long-term vision is for everyone in Connecticut to have health care coverage. The organization will focus in this plan on people who do not have affordable options for getting covered – residents who are undocumented and those just above the income limit for Medicaid.
- Sustainable payment for community health workers: Community health worker services are widely recognized as one of the best tools for advancing health equity. These services can help people get care and make sure their needs are met in ways that are respectful and culturally responsive. Assuring that these services can be sustainably funded will help to ensure that community health workers are available to Connecticut residents.
- Maternal health equity for people of color: There is significant momentum in the state and nation to address the severe disparities that exist in maternal mortality and morbidity. This is a new area for the foundation, and staff plan to spend the first year of the strategic plan learning and building relationships. Based on feedback from the planning process, the foundation believes it can play a role in convening key stakeholders and working collaboratively to develop a unified, statewide blueprint for maternal health equity.
- Fostering the infrastructure for health equity: Achieving health equity for people of color cannot occur without a strong field of advocates or reliable information. These can be understood as the infrastructure necessary to make progress toward health equity. This includes supporting advocacy, media coverage of health care, and efforts to improve the collection and analysis of data on patients’ race, ethnicity, and language preference.
Three of the goal areas continue work from the foundation’s current strategic plan, while the focus on maternal health for people of color is a new area for the foundation.
For each goal, the foundation identified a long-term vision, a five-year goal, and a set of objectives. The full plan is available here, while a summary of the goals and objectives is available here. A Spanish-language version of the summary is available here.
“We know that overcoming the inequities that lead to disparate health outcomes is long-term work. Our hope is that this plan will help us continue to move in the right direction,” Connecticut Health Foundation President and CEO Tiffany Donelson said. “We are excited to launch this new plan that continues much of our existing work and directs us into a new area that has much momentum and many already doing important work.”
To share more information about the plan and take questions, the foundation is hosting two webinars this month and will hold “office hours” around the state. Dates and times for each, as well as links to sign up, are available here.
About the Connecticut Health Foundation
The Connecticut Health Foundation is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving health outcomes for people of color. Since its creation in 1999, the foundation has awarded more than $76 million to nonprofit organizations and public entities to expand health equity, reduce health disparities, expand health coverage, and improve the health of all Connecticut residents.