Consumer Health Equity Group
Coming together to drive the agenda for meaningful change
Health care is a public trust. It does not work well if it's not trustworthy and fair. The Covid-19 pandemic shined a bright light on the inequities rooted in racism, bias, discrimination and the social needs that create barriers to accessing local affordable quality care. These long standing inequities continue to create distrust and severely impact a person's health.
Even today, new programs and regulations are going into effect without ever asking the consumer "What works best for you?"
To eliminate inequities and build trust, our health systems and care providers must listen carefully to consumers to understand the everyday challenges they face where they live, work and receive care. Working together, we can start to open trusted pathways to help all adults stay healthy and access care in their community.
The Consumer Health Equity Group brings together consumers and community advocates to-
- Identify the pressing issues and roadblocks consumers face in getting good care;
- Choose common issues and set achievable goals;
- Take action to drive support to make change, working with health equity groups to strengthen our shared mission.
Raise Your Voice
Come Join Us!
- Consumers and community advocates are very welcome —
- Adults of all ages, races, cultures, genders, abilities and disabilities, family members, caregivers , anywhere you live, work and receive care.
- Multi-lingual and bi-lingual consumers. Help us to use language as an asset, not a barrier.
- Community advocates, health equity and consumer groups. Let's build on your progress and promote your work.
- No experience needed. Just a desire to make change.
- We will meet via zoom and phone calls.
- We'll bring in guest speakers to learn from health equity experts, and choose common issues to set a few achievable goals.
- With the help of health equity and community groups, we'll distribute quick surveys on the common issues and goals to strengthen our voice.
- Easy to Join. Everyone is welcome. Contact Ellen at 781 642-0454, or send an email to Ellen at edipaola@honoringchoicesmass
There are many groups working on health equity and eliminating the barriers to getting good care. Here's some information and resources for consumers and care providers.
Let's work together. Do you have information and tools to share? Let's strengthen our shared mission. We'll post your work here. Email to Ellen, firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 Digital Digest for MA and RI
MLPB, an Honoring Choices Alliance Partner, believes in the power of justice to advance health. Their Digital Digest is an impressive resource for MA & RI care teams who want to be more effective social need problem-solving partners with the people they serve. "The Digital Digest covers 10+ domains of health-related social needs (e.g., Housing, Food, Transportation, Immigration, Mental Health etc.)," says Samantha Morton, CEO, "with attention to key changes and what they mean for successful problem-solving." View this unique, comprehensive resource here
Vaccine Equity Now!
Historical and contemporary experiences of racism and discrimination have led to higher levels of earned distrust in Black, Latinx, immigrant, and low income communities, and among people who are incarcerated. Vaccine Equity NOW! Coalition demands that Governor Baker take immediate action to prioritize access to the vaccine for the communities. Funds should be immediately dedicated to trusted community organizations to engage residents, provide accurate information, and address concerns. These organizations have trusting relationships and know how to reach and effectively engage residents. Read more here
The petition can be found at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfxHq69D_Z2uTzZlNgpHtoqpoHWd-grjg3P_GnsyqZPonAQwA/viewform.
Become Antiracist. Acknowledge Bias.
Learn more about your personal journey to commit to being antiracist in all parts of your life, and making unbiased choices. Here are great resources from the National Museum of African American History and Culture to explore:
Video: How to be An Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
Video: How To Overcome Your Bias, by Verna Myers
Who's Your Agent? Make your own health care plan.
Every competent adult, 18yrs/older, can make a plan. You can do-it-yourself with the Getting Started Tool Kit. Help your family, friends and neighbors.
Start by choosing a Health Care Agent. Your Agent has the power to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions yourself. Your Agent can get you the care you need, even for a short while you recover. Be sure to mail or fax a copy of your completed documents to your Agent and primary care physician.
The Getting Started Tool Kit makes planning as easy as 1-2-3:
- Who's Your Agent? Appoint a trusted person as your Health Care Agent in a MA Health Care Proxy. No Agent? No Problem- start with Step 2;
- What Matters Most? Write down your instructions for care in a MA Personal Directive (Living Will);
- Let's Talk About My Care. Talk with your clinicians, using the 5 Things to Talk About discussion guide, to get good care everyday.
Download a free The Getting Started Tool Kit
¿Quién es su Apoderado?
Choosing a Health Care Agent in a Health Care Proxy has never been more important to protect your right to get the care you want. You can download free, translated documents in Spanish and other languages. Bi-lingual care providers can offer culturally sensitive conversations and help adults translate their choices onto the English document. Both documents are valid and can be placed in the adult's electronic medical record so care providers know how to contact your Health Care Agent.
Here is a Health Care Proxy in 9 languages:
AlzHereForYou and 24/7 Helpline - Great resources from the Alzheimer's Association
It's been a challenging time for individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias, and their family members and caregivers. Community health care professionals are working hard to help support all during the COVID-19 pandemic, made more difficult by the loss of access to resources and closure of day programs.
Have a question or need help finding a resource? Click on this link, AlzHereForYou to view a wide range of helpful resources. And be sure to call the 24/7 Helpline: 800.272.3900. Trained staff are there to help individuals, family members and caregivers, and also health care providers and community professionals find appropriate care and services.
24/7 Helpline: 800.272.3900
Talking about Dementia And Culture
Dementia Friends of MA recently hosted a Let’s Talk About Dementia and Culture: How We Talk and Teach About Dementia in Cultural and Linguistic Communities webinar. It was a far-reaching and timely discussion of disparities in the risk of developing dementia, and how we can learn from the values and wisdom of many cultural traditions.
You can access recording and multi-lingual tools here.
For more information, Contact Beth Soltzberg, Dementia Friends MA at email@example.com
Share A Meal: Community Food Banks
During this public health emergency, adults in your town, city or community may not have a reliable healthy food source. Here are some resources. Please call ahead to find our how each group is distirubting food in your neighbohood. For those who can, consider making a financial donation to your local food pantry or food bank.
- State List of Local Food Banks. Link
- The Greater Boston Food Bank. Link
- Project Bread. Link
- Boston Medical Center Food Bank. Link
- The Greater Food Bank of Western MA. Link
- Worcester County Food Bank. Link
- Project Phoenix : A Food Hub Rises in Lynn. Greater Lynn Senior Services. Link.