Our Com­mit­ment to Equi­ty, Inclu­sion and Belonging


Advancing Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI) has an aggressive five-year plan to spread adoption of the Centering model of care as widely as possible, particularly in the most vulnerable, low-income, low-resourced communities. We are simultaneously working toward furthering an equity lens throughout our work, with an internal and external focus.

CHI recognizes that racism and discrimination are deeply ingrained in the social, political and economic structures of our society and by extension in the healthcare institutions. For minorities, these differences result in unequal access to healthcare, quality education, healthy food, livable wages, affordable housing and other social determinants of health. Many researchers believe that chronic stress resulting from repeated exposure to discrimination directly contributes to or exacerbates these issues.

To reduce racial and ethnic health disparities, healthcare professionals must explicitly acknowledge that race and racism factor into healthcare. CHI has a deep history of collaborating with healthcare systems; this level of knowledge and expertise provides us with a unique entry point to incorporate an equity lens into the support services, training and consulting offerings we provide to healthcare practices and institutions.

For example, while the preterm birth rate in the United States increased for the third year in a row to 9.93 racial disparities in birth outcomes are getting worse with the 2017 PTB rate for black infants 49% higher than for all other babies. Centering has been proven to reduce the preterm birth rate and has shown a flattening of racial disparities for women in Centering, with an overall preterm birth rate for black women virtually the same as white women. In more than 100 published studies and peer-reviewed articles, Centering demonstrates improved outcomes, including a 33%-47% decreased risk of preterm birth, more consistent attendance at prenatal and postpartum visits, greater readiness for birth and infant care, higher breastfeeding rates, and improved patient and provider satisfaction scores.

In 2016, CHI formalized its work on equity, diversity, and inclusion within the organization. A cross-organizational team, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee was created to support staff members to develop understanding, knowledge, expertise and skills among staff and to support the organization in developing an equity lens to use both internally and externally in our programmatic work with our partner sites. In addition, the CHI Board of Directors committed to this issue as an essential grounding for the organization and has subsequently developed a staff/board Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Through this focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion, in our own operations and in our work in the world, we aim for Centering to contribute to our vision of the future—the elimination of health disparities in the U.S.


Inclusion Committee Mission Statement

Centering Healthcare Institutes’ (CHI) Inclusion Committee’s mission is to support CHI’s commitment to equity, inclusion and belonging. We strive to facilitate a culture that respects and intentionally values the implementation of strategies and practices that are thoughtful, iterative, achievable, and innovative. Thus, creating a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity and belonging.

To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel safe, accommodated and welcome, that their contributions are respected, and that all voices are heard creating balance within CHI as an organization. Our committee’s actions also seek to enhance and improve the experience of everyone who works at the organization supporting organizational initiatives that encourage and recognize everyone’s contributions and successes, in an inclusive, cohesive, and transparent environment.

We believe building a mindset of awareness to leverage diversity creates depth in our talent, benefits our organization and lends to meaningful outcomes for the communities we serve.

Our Framework:

Honor our mission statement
Practice data-driven decision making
Foster a welcoming atmosphere across diverse backgrounds
Appreciate, understand and stay aware of cultural competency
Embrace cultural humility and ethical values

Committee Members

Robert Eddins
Mia Fite
Selina Griswold
Anna Pfaff
Surendra Pokharel
Deanna Velazquez
Stephanie Zahary

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