Health Equity at Providence Health Plan

Health for a Better World

We are actively working to improve health equity across our organization. Health equity is defined as “the attainment of the highest level of health for all people.” Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused, ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices and the elimination of health and healthcare disparities.

These disparities are closely linked with social, economic and/or environmental disadvantage. Disparities in our society occur across many dimensions, including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, location, gender, disability status and sexual orientation and there is ample evidence that these factors have a marked influence on the health of the individual. Achieving health equity means reducing, and ultimately eliminating, health disparities and the social determinants of health that adversely and disproportionately affect historically excluded or marginalized groups.

Our Vision

Providence recognizes that systems of oppression create structural inequities for historically marginalized or underserved groups. To achieve health equity, we must first understand and then address the underlying causes. Improving the health of our communities is a fundamental commitment rooted deeply in Providence’s mission and core values.

We are committed to addressing health inequities among underserved populations and the causes of those disparities, including those within our own organization. Our Health Equity journey is integrated throughout the organization and serves to identify and address health disparities, by closing gaps in social, cultural, structural and systemic determinants, thus ultimately improving the health outcomes of our communities.

See Providence St. Joseph Health’s commitment to health equity

“Health for a better world through raising awareness and taking action to reduce and eliminate health inequities and disparities across our members, caregivers, providers and the communities we serve.”

Our Commitment

At the heart of this vision is our belief in True Health for all. We are taking action to improve health equity by building, strengthening and formalizing partnerships within the communities we serve as well as by collaborating and resourcing jointly supported solutions. To ensure a collective and mutual understanding of health equity across the scope of this work, we pledge the following commitments:

  • Model through Action
    • By making improvements to integrate health equity in our current policies and practices
    • Creating robust working strategy to integrate equity principles within all levels of our leadership, governance and core operations
    • Addressing systemic racism at its roots beginning with learning to identify and mitigate implicit bias in ourselves, our policies, our procedures, and our systems
    • Creating an environment where members, caregivers and providers feel welcomed, respected, and valued for who they are
    • Not tolerating behavior or attitudes which perpetuate bias, stereotypes or microaggressions within our organization, partnerships, or network
  • Build True Health, Together
    • We commit to knowing, caring for, and easing the way for all Providence Health Plan members, with special attention to the needs of those who have historically experienced health inequities due to race, ethnicity, language, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, geography, or socioeconomic status.

    • Building the necessary infrastructure to re-design our programs, services to promote equitable care and access for all
  • Listen to Understand
    • To build and strengthen trust within communities of color and listen to the voices of those most affected by health inequities to identify sustainable ways to address them

    • Act where possible, to affect real and meaningful change

    • Collaborate with regional network and community partners which represent and advocate for historically marginalized or underserved groups to combat health inequities

    • Strengthen community capacity by investing in resources and carrying out sustainable initiatives in partnership with community-based organizations, to advance health equity

Our approach to achieving health equity rests on the following 6 guiding principles

  1. Make health equity strategic priority

  2. Build Infrastructure to support health equity

  3. Develop holistic understanding and address multiple determinants of health

  4. Eliminate racism and other forms of oppression

  5. Partner with the community

  6. Expand access to equitable care

Our Goals

Our health equity work is aligned under five key focus areas. Together, these focus areas represent a comprehensive, ground-up approach to advancing health equity across our organization and the diverse communities we serve:

  • Data Infrastructure and Reporting: integration of health equity data into our core operations and development of the key infrastructure needed to utilize this data in informed and effective decision-making.
  • Outreach and Education: identification and reduction of health disparities among PHP members through thoughtful caregiver education, provider communications and direct member outreach
  • Product and Marketing: development of diverse and culturally competent communications regarding product offerings that address health inequities within PHP member populations
  • Network and Community Engagement: collaboration with our regional network and community partners to help educate and foster efforts to improve health equity
  • Access: identification of opportunities to expand our resources, diversify our network portfolio and better meet the needs of PHP members
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