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Health Equity Academy in System Transformation

Federal and state governments, providers, health care industry leaders, and other stakeholders are making critical decisions about how health care is organized, delivered, and paid for to transform our health care system into one that provides higher value and quality care at lower cost, with the goal of improving our nation’s health. However, input from the people who these systems purport to serve—particularly communities of color and other communities disproportionately affected by health inequities—is missing from the decisions that impact health care payment and delivery. The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color and people with disabilities evidences the importance of advocacy now to transform health care.

Families USA is at the forefront of a movement to build and train a corps of health equity advocates who can effectively participate in discussions and decision-making about payment and delivery reform. We launched the Health Equity Academy in System Transformation to ensure the needs and priorities of communities are included in policymaking efforts. Our July 2020 Academy will provide an overall look at how health care systems are changing this year in response to the pandemic and to budget crises. We will zero in on three aspects of health care delivery systems where community voices are especially needed – particularly for the populations served by Medicaid and Medicare:

  1. Measuring inequities and holding health care systems accountable for improvement;
  2. Using a community-based workforce, including community health workers and doulas, in the wake of the pandemic;
  3. Enhancing supportive services to elders and people with disabilities to keep people safe and address their overall health.

The training portion of the Academy will take place virtually from 1:00-4:00 pm Eastern on July 21-23. Following the training, Fellows will continue to engage through monthly conference calls and technical assistance.

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Health Equity Academy in System Transformation

The Health Equity Academy in System Transformation trains and provides ongoing learning opportunities, strategic guidance, and technical support to leaders from communities of color and other marginalized communities. Participants gain formidable subject matter and advocacy skills to help them become stronger advocates for transforming our health care system to serve health equity at the local, state, and national levels. The Academy will hold annual national trainings, convene regional trainings in collaboration with key partners, develop and support an ongoing learning community, and create and disseminate resources to help ensure community voices are included in health system transformation. We encourage health care advocates and non profit health and community organization leaders to apply for the Academy.

What Will You Learn?

During the training, Academy fellows will engage in:

  • Intensive, in-depth subject matter training from national experts in health equity policy, health care policy, and payment and delivery system transformation policy.
  • Training on a suite of concrete policy advocacy skills and strategies, including communications and media.
  • The opportunity to connect with other like-minded advocates from across the country with shared goals.

In addition, Fellows will have access to post-training opportunities, including:

  • Continuing engagement with their cohort of Fellows, as well as other cohorts and experts, in a learning community.
  • Ongoing continuing education and training on critical health equity and system transformation issues through webinars and other means.
  • Preferential access to strategic guidance and technical assistance services through the Center on Health Equity Action for System Transformation.

Interested in Bringing an Academy to Your Region?

Families USA is in the process of selecting one or two states to participate in a regional academy on health equity in system transformation, to be held later this year.

Is there a group of health equity advocates in your area that would like training? If so, please complete this form.

Include a brief description of health care delivery changes your state is considering, any existing health equity organizations or coalitions that are pushing for change, how you think training could be helpful, and your contact information.

First Class of Fellows Graduates from the National Academy for Health Equity in System Transformation

Leaders from across the country were selected through a competitive process to become the first Academy Fellows. Thanks to the generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, these leaders came together in November 2019 to learn from top national experts and fellow advocates and strategize on how to dismantle health care system inequities. This cohort will continue sharing ongoing lessons from their advocacy.

View the list of Academy Fellows