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10 ways to improve Black experiences in health care

As a result of media coverage of COVID-19, important conversations are happening about the need for Canada to begin to collect race-based health data.

Since 2000, CSI member Black Health Alliance has been working in partnership with Black communities, health and social service providers, and governments to improve the health and well being of Black populations. Produced in partnership with the Health Commons Solution Lab, their recent Black Experiences in Health Care Symposium brought together voices from Black communities, activists, health system leaders, and allies.

The report coming out of that gathering offers ten actionable steps for a more equitable health system with better outcomes for Black Ontarians:

  1. Require all publicly funded government agencies and health service providers to be held accountable for
    • Collection and application of race-based data
    • Measuring, improving and publicly reporting on care and outcomes of Black Ontarians
    • Including Black leadership at all levels including governance, senior and middle management, and advisory committees.
  2. Ensure race-based data collection spans across the continuum of care to improve data quality, analysis, and the opportunity to positively impact the lives and outcomes of Black communities.
  3. Partner with large health data and information entities to help support race-based data collection and utilization.
  4. Standardize and mandate anti-Black racism, anti-oppression, and decolonization training for health care providers, professionals, leaders, and health system planners.
  5. Create accessible and culturally competent mental health services throughout the province for all Black people and their communities.
  6. Expand funding to create more integrated services that support the families and loved ones of Black people experiencing mental illness.
  7. Establish a mechanism to routinely monitor and assess diversity in health system leadership throughout the province.
  8. Improve communication with Black communities on the purpose and use of the data that is being collected from them.
  9. Create paid positions and roles for community trust builders in health provider organizations who help navigate the relationships between the community and health system.
  10. Develop a Black-led strategy for identifying Black representatives for provincial/regional community engagement opportunities in health care, and develop engagement practices and methods that reflect the diversity within Black communities.

To read the full report, download the PDF here.


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