Creating Healthier, More Equitable Communities

The places where we live, learn, work, and play all contribute to our ability to become and stay healthy. A Culture of Health means everyone has the basics to be as healthy as possible—like access to quality education, employment opportunities, and safe, clean neighborhoods across rural and urban settings. 

Commentary

For decades, Medicaid has provided virtually no-cost coverage to millions of Americans priced out of the private insurance market. Still, state legislators, policy analysts, and the popular press continue to question Medicaid’s value, particularly in relation to private coverage. Twelve states have not expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) framework despite the offer of federal funding to cover 90 percent of the costs associated with the additional enrollees.

Commentary

February is a time to reflect on and honor contributions made by African Americans. It’s also a time to discuss the critical work we, as a society, should be doing year-round to address structural racism and its effect on Black communities.

Implementing and Evaluating Structural Interventions in Medicaid to Promote Racial Equity in Pregnancy and Child Health

The burdens of racist policies have produced vastly worse pregnancy and birth outcomes for Black and Native populations relative to White populations in the United States. Because state Medicaid programs are the largest single payer for pregnancy care in the country, changes to Medicaid policies are an important way to implement structural interventions to promote racial equity. 

Honoring Indigenous Families: Evaluating the Impact of Nebraska's Indian Child Welfare Act

The removal and placement of Indian children away from their families and communities is a central component of historical trauma. Indian child welfare practice must contend with both the restoration of balance at the level of the individual the family and the community while negotiating with a system which has been an instrument of community disruption in the past. The 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was designed to address the race equity issues in the child welfare system that historically and disproportionately harm Indigenous youth and families. 

Reducing Black Infant Mortality in Alabama

Infant mortality, defined as the death of a baby after birth up to one year of age, is a national indicator of population-level health. The United States has an average infant mortality rate (IMR) of 6 deaths per 1,000 live births, a rate that is more than 70% higher than other comparable, high-resource nations.

New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform Advancing Racial Equity (NJ CARE) Study

The research team will work with individuals with lived experience in the justice system to contribute to a participatory action research-informed approach, with the goal of understanding how the impacts and policy changes uncovered translate into the human experience—including implications for well-being, health, and mental health. 

Advancing Racial Equity Through Climate Policy: Environmental, Economic and Health Equity Outcomes and Implications of CA's Climate Investment Program

Senate Bill 535 and Assembly Bill 1550, combined, require the state to dedicate a minimum of 35 percent of revenues raised through Cap-and-Trade to communities that are environmentally overburdened and socially vulnerable. This was an explicit effort to promote health, economic, and racial equity in California's climate policy strategy. This project will research and evaluate the implementation of the $12.6 billion California Climate Investment program (SB 535 and AB 1550) in creating solutions that promote health, economic, and racial equity in environmentally disadvantaged communities.