The Community Equity Alliance, a new initiative to eliminate barriers to equitable health care for underserved communities, was announced in January 2023 by CVS Health. The goal is to increase the community health workforce, create greater access to care, and bridge connections between institutions and local residents.
Three schools — Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Sinai Chicago, and Wayne State University in Detroit — are part of the initiative. Each received funding to support efforts to engage with their local communities in two ways: providing tailored strategies to help prevent disparities in heart health and mental health outcomes and providing residents with resources to launch a career in community health.
At Meharry Medical College, efforts include recruiting and training diverse residents as community health workers by offering a continuing education program for professionals focused on the patient-centered medical home, a health care model in which patients are connected with a team of primary care providers who communicate and work together to deliver personalized care.
Sinai Chicago is recruiting residents in local neighborhoods to become community health workers through its Block Leaders program, which offers training on how to engage with community members while building a career path in health care.
Wayne State University’s Center for Health Equity and Community Knowledge in Urban Populations is forming a community coalition to ensure the experiences of Detroit residents are embedded in local health initiatives and provide training on best practices in community health for faculty, staff, and community members.