The 2002 Institute of Medicine report, Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, sounded the alarm nationally: There are unequivocal health disparities among racial and ethnic communities, even when factors like income, insurance, and access to health care are considered. In short, people of color are subject to unequal treatment in the nation’s health care system.
In December 2003, the Connecticut Health Foundation created a 12-member Panel of state leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to study unequal health outcomes among racial and ethnic communities in Connecticut, and develop sound policy recommendations for both the public and private sectors.
After evaluating much of the data, the Policy Panel decided to focus its attention and recommendations in four areas:
- Social and Environmental Factors
- Data Collection
- Language Barriers
- Workforce Diversity
It was determined that within these areas of focus, the Panel could provide practical recommendations to policymakers, non- profit organizations and private institutions in order to deal more effectively with this problem throughout the state.
The Panel released its findings and policy recommendations to the public in 2005.