Healthcare systems, nonprofits, and educators come together for unique racial justice and equity initiative

The Proximity Project to launch a new cohort for healthcare industry leaders to improve how they interact with, serve communities of color

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Wilmington, Del. – Today, The Proximity Project, an organization that helps leaders and institutions become anti-racist and proximate to the marginalized communities they serve, announced a new racial justice training program designed for healthcare leaders.

The eight-week healthcare cohort —The Proximity Project: Healthcare (TPP) — will take place virtually beginning in mid-April and will bring together a diverse set of leaders in healthcare systems, insurance companies, health-focused nonprofit organizations, and other organizations seeking to improve health outcomes.

“The pandemic has provided a painful reminder about health disparities in communities of color and the need for anyone seeking to improve health outcomes to get much more connected to those communities. We are excited to be able to bring together a unique group of healthcare leaders to do the personal and organizational work needed to address racism and inequity,” says Atnre Alleyne, founder of The Proximity Project.

Participants in TPP will meet for two-and-a-half hours every week starting on April 16th to discuss assigned readings, complete organizational and leadership assessments, learn from guest speakers, and connect with other institution leaders working toward equity and racial justice.

“At Nemours Children’s Health, we offer examples of a children’s health system working together with community leaders to manage the causes of racial health disparities. Nemours serves diverse populations of children in two very different regions of the United States, the northeast and the southeast. A critical part of addressing systemic racism, discrimination and bias is to continuously evaluate the systems we use to provide care. Nemours wants to not only provide the best pediatric care but also strive to deliver equitable outcomes to truly create the healthiest generations of children,” said Cindy Bo, Senior Vice President, Delaware Valley Strategy and Business Development, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

Nemours Children’s Health System will be represented in The Proximity Project’s inaugural healthcare cohort with a group of eight staff members from Delaware and Florida who serve on the organization’s DRIVE (Diversity, Anti-Racism, Inclusion, Value and Equity) core team.

The cohort will also provide a rare opportunity for organizations that are working toward improved community health outcomes to connect, learn together, and collaborate.

And that collaboration has already begun during the recruitment phase for the upcoming training program.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware will be offering a grant through its health fund — BluePrints for the Community — to support the participation of staff members from a community-based health nonprofit organization. The company will also be sending a representative to participate in the program alongside the participants they have sponsored.

“Health professionals, whether as an insurer or provider or advocate, can only be more effective and compassionate by better understanding the unique communities and individuals they serve,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “Highmark Delaware is pleased to support and participate in The Proximity Project’s first health cohort in order to improve the health experience for all Delawareans.”

The Proximity Project was started in 2020 to support the many education and philanthropic organizations who were seeking to improve how they support communities of color after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

The first cohort, which focused on the education sector, consisted of 48 leaders including a Department of Education deputy secretary, a superintendent; former State Teachers of the Year; and the heads of two foundations.

The Proximity Project – Healthcare was conceived in early 2021 with the support of Dr. Roshni Guerry, a triple board certified palliative physician currently serving as an Associate Professor at Penn Medicine, and Mike Eppehimer, a senior healthcare executive and leadership consultant, with a goal to craft a similar experience that would shift mindsets, policies, and practices within the healthcare sector.

Dr. Guerry had this to say about the program: “There’s so much to be proud of when it comes to medical advances in the United States, but that progress has been stymied by the systematic health care oppression of Black and Brown communities. I’m committed to The Proximity Project because it combines awareness and motivation with tangible actions to address racial inequity.”

Registration for TPP is open until April 9th. Those seeking to apply can learn more by visiting www.theproximitypro.com/healthcare.

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About The Proximity Project: The Proximity Project: Healthcare (TPP) is eight-week cohort experience for leaders in the healthcare industry (health systems, public health, academic medicine, community-based health services, etc.) who want to examine and reform how they interact with and serve communities of color. TPP is not an isolated, intellectual exercise— leaders connect closely with patients, caregivers, and community leaders whose truth and insights inform participants’ reflections and actions