Health Equity Is at the Heart of What We Do

by Lori Weems, Program Manager
Community Care Behavioral Health Organization

Community Care Behavioral Health Organization (Community Care) remains steadfast in our mission to improve health, wellness, and recovery. We accomplish this by helping our neighbors with the highest need—individuals with serious mental illness, disability, substance use disorder, or children with serious emotional problems. Our commitment to end social inequity in health care, whether based on gender, race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, or physical or cognitive disorder, is at the heart of what we do. 

Community Care’s approach to improving health equity is to integrate this work across all areas. Our Social and Racial Justice steering committee has developed six workgroups dedicated to provider professional development, internal staff development, member-level advocacy, community partnerships, human resources interventions, and policy review. The workgroups continue to develop actionable steps to address social and racial justice and have been focused on:

  • Developing a process to assist providers in monitoring organizational social and racial disparities and how we can offer support while reviewing our existing policies and procedures to ensure they encourage equity and inclusion.
  • Enhancing collaboration with members through assessing and understanding members’ needs.
  • Increasing our efforts to recruit, retain, and promote a diverse workforce.
  • Strengthening relationships with community partners through increased participation in events across our regions.
  • Continuing to integrate gender, race, and ethnicity into data analyses to better understand access to services and how our members participate in health care.

We are excited to announce these new initiatives:

  • The launch of a social and racial justice book club for Community Care staff
  • Development of a sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) training curriculum, and cultural diversity and inclusion trainings for staff and providers
  • A collaboration with Black-owned barbershops and beauty salons in the Pittsburgh area that will train stylists and barbers on how to talk to their clients about behavioral health and substance abuse issues and how to link them to services
  • A network assessment of providers regarding self-identification of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, languages spoken, and areas of clinical competence to better meet members’ individualized needs
  • Providing resources on health care topics that may impact racial and ethnic groups differently, such as depression and suicide prevention. For more information, please visit:

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