CHA video series spotlights best practices toward achieving equity

November 1, 2023

In a We Are Called best practices webisode that focuses on the equity work being done by Mercy, the system's Pathway to Employment program is one of the initiatives discussed. The program is an employment-based internship model for students with disabilities.


As part of its Confronting Racism by Achieving Health Equity pledge, CHA is compiling short taped "webisodes" that spotlight best practices developed across the Catholic health ministry to advance equity and address disparities in health care.

The best practices webisodes comprise a micro-learning series that shares specific approaches that CHA members are taking to see that those they serve have access to exceptional health care and that internally they are promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. The length of each video is at most 12 minutes. Anyone can access the videos at

The pledge is part of the anti-racism We Are Called initiative CHA launched in 2020 to respond to racial- and ethnicity-related injustice and inequities across the country and to renew the ministry's commitment to honoring the dignity of all persons. Over 90% of CHA members joined the pledge to pursue policies and programs for systemic change to achieve health equity.

Kathy Curran, CHA senior director of public policy, and Dennis Gonzales, CHA senior director of mission innovation and integration, are leading the We Are Called initiative. The two, along with Josh Matejka, CHA director of creative services, are collaborating to create the best practices webisodes.


Curran said the idea for the learning series sprang from a talk Erica Torres, system vice president of mission integration at PeaceHealth, gave at a meeting of the CHA board committee focused on diversity and health disparities.

"Afterwards, we thought, wouldn't it be great if we could find a way to share more broadly the work PeaceHealth is doing within the membership and find a way for other members to highlight what they are doing?" Curran said during a webinar Sept. 27 hosted by CHA to discuss the series and how members can add their own webisode.

Torres is featured in one of the three webisodes that are already online. In it, she discusses how PeaceHealth is "actively working on becoming an anti-racist organization." It's doing that, she said, by creating a strategy that hardwires diversity, equity and inclusion into its practices in the same way as safety is now. That strategy includes putting DEI under the purview of its mission integration department.

"Explicitly linking DEI to our mission will ensure that every aspect of what we do — how we recruit, hire, promote and retain employees; how we conduct our business operations; how we incentivize and hold our leaders accountable and how we provide clinical care — is rooted in dismantling racism and eliminating health disparities," Torres says in the video.

Another video spotlights the work Avera Health is doing through its Community Health Resource Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The center focuses on serving the region's immigrant and refugee populations. The third video showcases Chesterfield, Missouri-based Mercy's decision to add belonging as a focus in its practices along with diversity, equity and inclusion. It includes a description of Mercy's Pathway to Employment program, an internship model for people with disabilities.

Matejka explained that CHA has simplified the process of creating a video and will work with any member interested in adding one to the series. To express an interest and get how-to details, email [email protected].


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