This summer will mark the second year that a collection of leaders from the corporate and non-profit communities in Central Indiana formed the Business Equity for Indy (BEI) Committee for the purpose of advancing a more fair and inclusive future for the city’s Black population and other peoples of color. Among their three priorities is addressing healthcare disparities in infant and maternal health.
The committee is a joint venture of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) and Indy Chamber, with support from the Indianapolis Urban League, and is comprised of a group of more than 20 Indianapolis-based corporate leaders. There are also about 150 community partners, of which 20, including the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), are specifically connected to improving the outcomes around infant and maternal health. Sara Wiehe, MD, MPH, co-director for the Indiana CTSI, contributed some of the evidence-based recommendations to the BEI such as allowing pregnant employees time off for doctor visits.
“It’s one thing to tell organizations what will add value and make a difference for employees in supporting racial equity and well-being outcomes,” said Taylor Hughes, director of Strategy, Policy and Special Projects for the Indy Chamber. “But implementing a technical assistance program to help ensure internal success with the programs is the key to making lasting and meaningful changes.”
And that’s where the Committee is now, developing playbooks for pilot technical assistance programs to help determine the best way to implement programs internally. This is expected to be complete by the end of March.
The Playbooks will then be available to Central Indiana businesses and organizations as reliably tested program resources for implementing internal programs that can improve outcomes for their employees in bettering maternal and infant health.
“These organizations will be the ones that will actively drive change in our community,” Hughes said. “And we will be relying on our larger healthcare institutions and organizations such as the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. We know they play a critical role in supporting the social determinants of health.”