April 2021 Diversity and Disparities Update


CHA Observes National Minority Health Month
Celebrated every April, National Minority Health Month raises awareness about the health disparities that continue to affect minority populations. The Catholic Health ministry is committed to prioritizing equity in our COVID-19 response as well as recognizing and addressing longer-term systemic changes. Together, We Are Called to do meaningful and measurable work on health equity.
CHA will offer two unique events:

CHA has also created resources for your use throughout April including:

  • Huddle Reflections

    Offering a reflection with an equity-related theme, CHA will debut five reflections each week (in both long and brief versions) to help open conversations and thought about our call to confront racism and achieve health equity. They were developed for wide use in brief team "huddles" on care units, as well as for other meetings and even board reflections or to share electronically as part of formation programs.
  • We Are Called Prayer Cards

    This prayer, in English and Spanish, reflects our call to create health equity. The single prayer is offered in several designs and a brandable version of the prayer card is also available.

HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH): National Minority Health Month #VaccineReady
The HHS Office of Minority Health has chosen #VaccineReady as its theme for National Minority Health Month this year. The OMH is focusing on the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on racial and ethnic minorities and American Indian and Alaska Native communities and underscoring the need for these vulnerable communities to get vaccinated as more vaccines become available. » Visit to learn more and find helpful resources

The FDA has also developed a #VaccineReady Social Media Toolkit with resources to encourage members of diverse communities to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

CHA Diversity & Health Disparities Networking Call
Join the May 24 networking call for CHA members working to address the issues of diversity, health disparities and health equity. If you have a program to highlight or a discussion topic to suggest for the agenda, please contact Kathy Curran, CHA senior director, public policy.
» Access a recording of the mid-February call
Passcode: k0zhU84H

CHA Assembly 2021: All God's Children
June 14 and 15, 2021
This year's Catholic Health Assembly will be a virtual event on June 14 and 15. Exploring the theme "All God's Children," keynote speakers will include former president of Ireland Mary Robinson on climate justice; Morehouse School of Medicine's Daniel E. Dawes on health equity; Dr. Gloria A. Wilder on women's health disparities; and "Just Mercy" author and human rights activist Bryan Stevenson on racial justice. Registration opens in May. For more information, visit the Assembly 2021 website: www.chausa.org/assembly. We hope to see you there — although we are virtual again this year, there will be many opportunities to chat and network!

National Minority Quality Forum: Summit on Health Disparities and Health Braintrust
April 26 and 27, 2021
8 a.m. ET
The National Minority Quality Forum will host the annual summit on Health Disparities virtually. The summit's theme, "Racism Makes Me Sick!," will focus on the many ways policies have contributed to sickness, disease and inequitable health care. This summit aims to assist health care providers, professionals, administrators, researchers, policy makers, and community and faith-based organizations in delivering quality care to diverse populations. Register at 2021 NMQF Leadership Summit on Health Disparities and Health Braintrust — The National Minority Quality Forum.

CMS OMH: The Road to Equity: Examining Structural Racism in Health Care Virtual Forum
On April 27 and April 28, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) will host a two-day virtual forum titled The Road to Equity: Examining Structural Racism in Health Care to highlight CMS's renewed focus on health equity, address structural racism in health care and establish federal agencies' roles as equity partners.

Guest speakers from various federal and partner agencies will share their insight and experience during the forum, focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on health disparities and initiatives to promote equity.
» Find out more information and register

Reports and Resources


THE CONVERSATION: Between Us, About Us.
Check out this video series developed by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Black Coalition Against COVID to provide accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Black doctors, nurses and researchers dispel misinformation and provide accessible facts in 50 FAQ videos that provide information about the COVID-19 vaccines. While the campaign is intended specifically to speak to the Black community, the short FAQ videos contain important information for everyone. And be sure to watch the fun and informational intro video hosted by W. Kamau Bell. The website contains all the videos plus more resources, including information on immigrants and vaccines. https://www.greaterthancovid.org/theconversation/.

Urban Indian Health Institute: COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) is committed to obtaining and sharing accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccines and has produced resources that are meant to be used and shared by American Indian and Alaska Native relatives, tribes and healthcare facilities serving Indian Country. The purpose of these resources is to provide up-to-date information for those interested in learning more about the vaccines. » View

NIHCM Foundation: Infographic: COVID-19 & The Legacy of Racism: Vaccine Hesitancy, Access & Uptake
This new infographic highlights the pandemic's devastating impact on Black, Latino and Native American communities and looks at the role of vaccine hesitancy and access challenges on vaccine uptake rates across the United States. » View the graphic

Rand Corporation: What Contributes to COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Black Communities, and How Can It Be Addressed?
A new RAND survey found high rates of mistrust of COVID-19 vaccines among Black Americans. Laura Bogart, Ph.D., and her colleagues engaged with community stakeholders to identify communication strategies that may help increase vaccine uptake in Black communities. » Read

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Survey: Attitudes, Views and Values around Health, Equity and Race Amid COVID-19
The pandemic has not demonstrably shifted views on the connection between race and health among those most affected by COVID-19, despite communities of color and those with lower incomes being hit the hardest.

The COVID-19 and the Experiences of Populations at Greater Risk survey is a national poll measuring attitudes, views and values toward health, equity, civic engagement and systemic racism during COVID-19. This longitudinal survey is following the same group of people over time, with a sample size of more than 4,000 people. » View

Kaiser Family Foundation: One Year into the Pandemic: Implications of COVID-19 for Social Determinants of Health
Even as the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out accelerates across the country, the public health and economic effects of the pandemic continue to affect the well-being of many Americans. Millions have lost jobs or income in the past year, making it difficult to pay expenses including basic needs such as food and housing. These challenges will ultimately affect people's health and well-being, as they influence social determinants of health. This brief provides an overview of social determinants of health and a look at how adults are faring across an array of measures one year into the pandemic. » Read

JAMA Network Open: Experiences of Latinx Individuals Hospitalized for COVID-19: A Qualitative Study
The COVID-19 pandemic posed a complex and often painful health care experience for many across the country, and in the Latinx community, that pain was defined as compounding social and health inequity and a need for a stronger social safety net, according to new survey data published in JAMA Network Open. The study showed that Latinx patients were likely to encounter COVID-19 misinformation and experience a lapse in the social safety net that may have led to even further inequity after an individual contracted the virus. » Read more

Urban Institute: Perceptions of Discrimination and Unfair Judgment While Seeking Health Care: Findings from September 2021 Coronavirus Tracking Survey
Black adults report being discriminated against or unfairly judged by health care providers and their staff at a rate almost three times higher than white adults and about twice as high as Latino/Hispanic adults. This study examines survey data that asked respondents whether in the last 12 months they had felt a doctor, medical provider or health care staff had judged them unfairly or discriminated against them. » View survey findings

Archived Webinar - NIHCM Foundation: COVID-19 and the Legacy of Racism: Vaccine Hesitancy and Treatment Bias
The COVID-19 pandemic's devastating impact on Black, Latino and other communities of color has resulted in disproportionately high rates of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Racism, both historical and current, complicates efforts to reduce these disparities by contributing to vaccine hesitancy, treatment bias, barriers to testing and ongoing economic and social inequities. This webinar explored challenges and solutions and is part of "Stopping the Other Pandemic: Systemic Racism and Health." » Listen to recordings of the series

Maternal and Infant Health

HHS Office of Minority Health: Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Maternal Health Care program
The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) has launched the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Maternal Health Care program. The program is available via OMH's Think Cultural Health website and is designed to develop maternal health care providers' knowledge/skills related to culturally and linguistically appropriate services and aims to help eliminate disparities facing communities of color.
» View an introductory webinar about the program
» Access the program

Commonwealth Fund: Community-Based Models to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes and Promote Health Equity
The United States spends a lot on maternity care, but that does not necessarily translate into better maternal health outcomes. For Black and Indigenous people in particular, death from pregnancy-related causes has reached crisis proportions. This new Commonwealth Fund report assesses the potential of several innovative, community-based maternity care models to improve outcomes and reduce racial inequities in maternal mortality. » Read


Kaiser Family Foundation: Racial and Ethnic Health Inequities and Medicare
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the stark racial and ethnic health inequities in the United States, including among Medicare beneficiaries. Among this group, people of color, including older adults and others on Medicare, account for disproportionate shares of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. This report examines the latest data on racial and ethnic health inequities among Medicare beneficiaries in a wide range of areas, including life expectancy, access to care, service utilization, as well as demographic and socioeconomic inequities. » Read

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Statement from CDC Director on Racism as Public Health Threat and Launch of Racism and Health Website
CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, issued a statement declaring racism a serious public health threat. In this statement she highlighted several new efforts the CDC is leading to accelerate its work to address racism as a fundamental driver of racial and ethnic health inequities in the United States and unveiled a new website, "Racism and Health," that will serve as a hub for the agency's efforts and a catalyst for greater education and dialogue around these critical issues. Read media release of the statement: Media Statement from CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, on Racism and Health | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC
View Racism and Health website: Racism and Health | Health Equity | CDC

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization: Black and African American Outreach Guide
A solid understanding of community health outreach can be a useful tool for organizations committed to building relationships with the Black/African American population. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) has released a new resource, Black and African American Outreach Guide. The topics covered in the guide include disparities in Black/African American health, outreach as a standard of practice and strategies for reaching out to Black/African American communities. » Read

AHA Institute for Diversity and Health Equity: Health Equity Resource Series: Data-Driven Care Delivery Data Collection, Stratification and Use
To support hospitals and health systems starting from different points on their journey to strengthen health equity, the AHA's Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE) is preparing four new guidance and resource toolkits to share evidence-based practices to inform organizational next steps. The first toolkit, "Data-Driven Care Delivery Data Collection Stratification and Use," focuses on approaches to promote data collection and stratification to improve patient outcomes. » Download the toolkit and learn more

Archived Videocast: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities: What It Means to Talk About Race and African American Health
This videocast examined the impact of racism on African American health, looking at pervasive inequities that drive higher rates of morbidity and death in the United States and explored the deeply entrenched effects of racism on African American health through institutional policies and practices that defeat socioeconomic opportunity and cause overexposure to harms; stereotypes; day-to-day encounters with racism; and other aspects of American social life. » Watch


For recent news articles, please visit our website at www.chausa.org/disparities/overview.

News about disparities and COVID-19 can also be found on CHA's Coronavirus Resources page.


View a collection of prayers relative to the pandemic:

If you have any prayers or reflections to share with the ministry, please share them with CHA.