Structural Racism and Racial Inequities in Health: Summary of Focus Group Key Themes and Findings

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The Foundation has committed to base its work in the structural racism and racial inequities in health focus area on issues raised by the communities and community members experiencing racism and health inequities. To that end, the Foundation partnered with established community-based organizations across the state to convene focus groups featuring the perspectives of community members on how racism impacts health and access to health care services. A total of seven focus groups, organized geographically, were held virtually. At each focus group, a total of eight to ten individuals participated, representing three to four organizations in each region. Focus group participants were selected based on the alignment of their organization’s work with the Foundation’s mission and focus areas.

The key themes that emerged related to two forms of racism: (1) racial bias in clinical care, which plays a key role in poor health outcomes for individuals and communities of color and (2) the policies and practices of health care systems and the legal and regulatory climate. The report summarizes those themes and presents recommendations, which include guidance for the types of programs and services that need support in communities, direction for the Foundation’s policy work, and considerations for grantmaking programs and processes.