Year in Review: Health Equity & AHEAD

December 15, 2022

The Iowa PCA began our formal journey toward health equity and diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) and belonging during 2019 strategic planning. We defined our vision as “Health Equity for All” and performed an organizational DEI assessment in the summer of 2021, which resulted in several recommendations.

This year, we also kicked-off our AHEAD (Advancing Health Equity and Addressing Disparities) project to build capacity of the Iowa PCA network and health centers to advance in the health equity space. This work supports five deliverables:

  • A health equity needs assessment
  • A unified health equity implementation plan
  • Data support including the establishment of metrics for measuring progress in health equity across the network
  • Strategic consultation to support DEI and health equity implementation
  • Health equity training, education, and support

AHEAD Accomplishments & Next Steps

Implementation of the AHEAD work will allow us to advance health equity across our network. The findings of this work will inform our FY23-24 plan and be incorporated into our meetings and projects.

Some of the work accomplished includes:

  • Hosted kick-off meetings and an educational foundational webinar with community health centers
  • Health centers identified health equity champions to participate in monthly educational and peer learning sessions
  • Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) completed in-person informant interviews at health centers
  • Health center members completed the health equity needs assessment survey
  • Shared results analysis with health centers and network
  • Developed and implemented communications plan highlighting work for internal and external stakeholders
  • Contracted with Chartis Just Health Collective to develop network-wide education

Moving forward, the AHEAD project team will:

  • Work toward a unified health equity implementation plan
    • Addressing themes identified in assessment as a network
    • Incorporating strategic agility session takeaways, network-wide results and current strategic plan priorities
  • Develop content for education and training with Chartis JHC
  • Host collaboration sessions monthly for health equity champions
  • Develop data standardization, quality assurance and social determinants of health system planning

Iowa PCA Inclusion Council Accomplishments & Next Steps

Since its development in the summer of 2021, the Iowa PCA Inclusion Council has implemented many recommendations on its journey to support belonging and psychological safety internally. A few examples include:

  • Hosted DEI-focused trainings, now part of onboarding, and developed business case and workshop for health equity during strategic agility sessions
  • Supported the implementation of the AHEAD work
  • Established a Learning Moment in agendas dedicated to growth, reflection, learning, discomfort, and furthering conversations
  • Embedded health equity tactics into strategic plan goals
  • Supported six health equity-focused sessions at the Iowa Community Health Conference
  • Participated in the Iowa PCA AHEAD Health Equity Needs Assessment Readout

Through the end of the year, the Council intends to:

  • Incorporate an equity empowerment moment at Senior Leadership Team meetings
  • Onboard and welcome new members to the Inclusion Council
  • Participate in Strategic Planning retreat
  • Provide DEI consultation on Leadership Playbook, 2023 monthly meetings timeline, and health center and network employee training curriculum
  • Workshop and ratify charter
  • Establish chairs and an Executive Sponsor