In Pursuit of Health Equity
OUR PURPOSE: Transforming Louisiana's health, one person at a time.
What We Do
Louisiana Healthcare Connections successfully provides high quality, whole health solutions for members. We recognize diverse the significance and importance of racial and ethnic identity, culture, language, and experience of our members and their communities. Respecting and understanding these differences guides how we form partnerships in communities that bridge social, ethnic, and economic gaps.
Why We Do This
There are many reasons to do this work. The most important one: Our members. Promoting health equity requires taking aim at some of the most entrenched and powerful drivers of less-than-optimal health in America today.
- Access to quality, culturally competent services
- Lack of attention to solving root causes of inequity in healthcare and the social determinants of health
- Discrimination in education, employment, housing, transportation, and urban and regional planning
- Insurance coverage
We are committed to building sustainable and equitable solutions for the health of all our communities, particularly those affected by regional, cultural, socioeconomic, and racial inequities.
This commitment to health equity starts with our local leadership teams, and is possible because our approach focuses on listening to and empowering local voices, relying on our communities to define for themselves the areas we should collectively focus our efforts.
The challenge is profound, but we know health equity is possible. Through rigorous leadership, a culture of listening, thoughtful education, and meaningful innovation, Louisiana Healthcare Connections will persist in its mission to increase opportunities for everyone to live their healthiest, most fulfilling life possible.
We take to heart these words from patient-centered care advocate Valerie Billingham: “Nothing about me, without me.” Our approach centers around the perspectives and direct experiences of individuals and communities impacted by disparities. Those that live in the communities we serve most deeply understand existing health inequities – and the solutions needed to address them.
That’s why our approach to promoting health equity begins and ends with listening to and empowering local voices to make local impact. Our Health Equity Neighborhood Initiatives convene and spark change in coordination across in three domains – member, community, and provider.
We apply data-driven insights about health disparities to the perspectives gained from lived experience to bring together and support local teams, where our members live, eat, play, and pray. This approach sparks change through five main actions:
- Inform: Provide the community with localized data and tools to support their assessment of the problem and formulation of opportunities and/or solutions
- Consult: Listen to community and individual analysis and feedback to guide policies, programs, and actions
- Involve: Work with community leaders and trusted messengers to understand and incorporate local concerns and aspirations
- Collaborate: Partner with community organizations and local advocates for decision-making and solution-building
- Empower: Place decision-making in the hands of the community, providers, and individuals
Action with Our Members.
One of our key neighborhood initiative strategies is to engage individuals across the spectrum we serve. By listening closely to the community, we can identify abundance and scarcity in services and resources, and then wrap around to connect what exists today and what can exist in the future. We convene local advisory groups that include representation from all facets of the community – we seek diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, age, nation of origin, health status, and more. These groups provide feedback and guidance on programs and services, access opportunities, and health equity efforts.
"You don't know how much it means to have someone that's there to say 'OK, what else can I do for you today?' … With all of the day-to-day challenges I have just to get through one day, my healthcare makes everything just a little bit easier."
- Sherrika, Enrollee, Shreveport
Action with Our Communities.
We engage with established, anchor community organizations to understand local needs, and partner on Social Determinants of Health interventions and funding. In each community we work together to convene community based organizations and residents, physical and behavioral health providers, local government, and other stakeholders to develop a collaborative health equity neighborhood action plan. The action plan identifies resources and services to develop – or in some cases, identifies existing programs to invest in and expand.
"What we're doing to fight food insecurity aligns with what Louisiana Healthcare Connections is doing. They've chosen to step out and address the issues that truly affect a community, and that's what we do here."
- Brian Couvillon, Food Bank of Central Louisiana
Action with Our Providers.
When we identify a health equity issue in one of our neighborhoods, we ask our providers for their help – and listen to their insights. We leverage our knowledgeable local network teams to reach out in person to healthcare providers and look at the individual member level to pinpoint barriers to better health and workable solutions. We also support our providers with training and education on topics such as cultural sensitivity, implicit bias, clear communication, and the practices and needs of very specific populations in their area. Provider-focused collaborative efforts are vital to improve care, particularly with an eye to reducing maternal, infant and child health disparities.
“I try my best to keep my patients out of the ER and help them live a healthier life. To do that requires that I am knowledgeable so my patients are knowledgeable as well. The level of detail and variety of provider trainings offered by LHCC make them a wise investment of my time. They explore important topics to providers, like helpful tips for quality measures, mistakes to avoid when filing claims, and information on improving outcomes for patients with diabetes. LHCC leads the way in understanding what it takes to provide the best care to our patients.”
- Shetila Burrell, FNP, Heart to Heart Care Clinic, Baton Rouge
Louisiana Healthcare Connections' diverse and dedicated employees know our purpose at the heart of all we do. To us, “transforming Louisiana's health, one person at a time” also includes supporting our workforce.
Recruiting for Diversity.
We hire directly from the communities we serve. We rely heavily on our strong ties with our provider and community partners, and supplement these vital local relationships with our national diversity and inclusion partnerships. We understand that part of continuing to build upon a culture of equity is intentionally hiring, training, promoting, and retaining employees at all levels that represent the people and communities we serve, including Medicaid enrollees, veterans, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ+, individuals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Promoting at All Levels.
Louisiana Healthcare Connections is dedicated to promoting staff who are representative of the demographic characteristics of the populations we serve. Each of our Employee Inclusion Groups offer mentorship programs that focus on employees’ individual development needs to deliver the best outcomes for their professional growth. In addition, we review all high potential employees with an eye on diversity. Once an employee is identified, we create a detailed career development plan to help the employee gain the needed skills to continue to grow with the organization, and check in with them regularly to gauge their progress toward promotion. In particular, we are committed to purposefully ensuring diverse candidate slates for leadership roles.
Building the Culture.
Through a constant focus on awareness and accountability, we provide training to staff, contractors, and network providers to ensure that cultural humility and a drive toward health equity are central in all that we do. Our training and development offerings are developed and conducted with a health equity lens, supporting participants to value diversity, conduct self-assessment, manage the dynamics of difference, acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge, and adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of communities.
"What I have found here at Louisiana Healthcare Connections is the thing my past experiences were all missing: a company that truly has values and morals and work towards the greater good for all."
- Angele, Population Health and Clinical Operations staff