Bronson Health Foundation has invested in paving a more inclusive path forward for our system and region. Our staff and leadership are on a journey to understanding our role in supporting equitable solutions to deep-seeded challenges, and ensuring that our decisions are intentionally advancing the health of all members of our community. These initiatives include:
- Ensuring babies and mothers get their best start through the implementation of initiatives and programs such as Cradle Kalamazoo, Community Health Workers, and group prenatal care called Centering Pregnancy.
- Advocating for low-income families by addressing homelessness through Bronson’s FUSE program, supporting patients with out of pocket medical needs through our Patients in Need Fund, providing nutrition and health education to families through SNAP-Ed programs, and environmental change initiatives in Kalamazoo and South Haven.
- Analyzing foundation-funded programs by utilizing an internally developed Equity Lens Tool to better understand our work. To better promote equity, we must consider the impacts a practice or program may have on members of a community.
In 2018, Bronson Healthcare made formal its commitment to this work when leadership signed the American Hospital Association Equity of Care Pledge. You can read more about the pledge here. This commitment focuses our efforts in developing stronger cultural competencies, improving the ways we see and understand who each of our patients are as a unique person, investing and participating in community partnerships, and increasing the diversity of our leadership and governance structures.
Our community has also shared with us the differences members experience within healthcare and the resulting gaps in health outcomes. Our most recent Community Health Needs Assessment can be found here. The social determinants of health, including race, education, financial and housing stability, to name just a few, shine a light on how we might better impact health outcomes for our community by focusing on social and institutional inequities.