State officials along with insurance and healthcare providers in New Jersey are joining forces to address the glaring racial disparities in the state’s maternal and infant care. They are part of a unique seven-state coalition focused on reducing various health inequities.
Facilitating those partnerships, the New Jersey-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will invest $3.4 million in the Advancing Health Equity Learning Collaborative, a multi-year initiative to unite public and private-sector healthcare entities around Medicaid reforms designed to plug gaps in care related to race, poverty and other factors.
“This is the first attempt that we know of to bring together these three stakeholder groups to identify common goals for advancing health equity and then work together to implement them. We are excited about the potential of this project,” said Andrea Ducas, RWJF senior program officer.
The multi-state project will be overseen by staff at Advancing Health Equity, a University of Chicago center the foundation launched in 2005, with additional expertise provided by the Institute for Medicaid Innovation, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C, and the Center for Health Care Strategies, a national policy group located in Hamilton, N.J.
The funding will also cover travel costs for the seven state teams and outside technical assistance, if needed; in addition to New Jersey, partnerships have been established in Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington State. Their work — built to address local priorities and informed by Medicaid members and patients impacted by health disparities — will begin in early October and continue for two years, project leaders said.