While the WHI’s key priority areas—behavioral health, social determinants of health, access to care, and senior services—will remain the focus of the collaborative’s upcoming work, the WHI Steering Committee recognizes the need to address important issues that intersect with the group’s mission and goals in profound ways.
At this February’s Steering Committee meeting, the group discussed strategic priorities for guiding the WHI’s work groups and projects, reviewed the group’s guiding principles and considered how they will inform the collaborative’s work over the coming year, and agreed upon three principles to inform the WHI’s work over the next year, which include:
- Race equity—methods that promote race equity, such as targeted advocacy, supporting local initiatives that promote health equity, and incorporating a race equity lens into work group projects.
- Community engagement—bolstering WHI engagement with community organizations and individuals through new partnerships, member focus groups, renewing member charters, and reviewing and revising the Steering Committee membership.
- Organizational alignment—coordinating mission-relevant strategic planning across all levels of the WHI, including the executive group, Steering Committee, work groups, stakeholder group, and member organizations.
Additionally, the Steering Committee discussed two potential projects that align with one or more of its strategic priorities areas:
Proposed project #1
Voting rights advocacy—maintaining the right to vote intersects with health in profound ways, especially when addressing health inequities. As such, the steering committee discussed three potential activities:
- The development of a locally focused candidate survey aimed at gathering candidate perspectives for the 2022 midterm elections.
- Gathering and publishing public stances of our currently elected officials as it relates to health equity.
- Conducting a literature review that highlights the interconnectivity between health and social issues like voting equality.
The Steering Committee will seek input from the WHI Stakeholders group as it decides what direction this work should take.
Proposed project #2
Community information exchange (CIE)— A CIE utilizes a shared technology platform that allows local organizations to share data and collaborate as a means to address both social needs and health inequities in a community.
At the end of January, the WHI had a preliminary stakeholders discussion aimed at gathering input about where local community-based organizations and health systems stand in the current CIE landscape.
After a lengthy discussion, it was evident that more conversations around this topic should continue. The WHI will continue to evaluate what role it could play in this arena.