Finding Answers Disparities Research for Change is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation based at the University of Chicago. Finding Answers aims to reduce health care disparities for patients from racial and ethnic minority groups. The program administers a grant program that designs and evaluates practical and replicable solutions; conducts reviews of existing health care intervention literature; and provides health care systems with evidence-based best practices, practical tools, and resources to address racial and ethnic inequities within their own organizations.
Finding Answers provided technical assistance to Aligning Forces for Quality Alliances on their equity work, facilitating disparities-focused quality improvement interventions at primary care sites and FQHCs through a program called the Equity Improvement Initiative (EQuII). EQuII helped organizations to establish a sustainable culture of equity. Goals for participating organizations were to: (1) learn how to identify one or more disparities among their patients; (2) develop effective quality improvement and community programming to reduce gaps; (3) put processes in place to evaluate progress; and, (4) master the knowledge and skills necessary to address new or different disparities effectively in the future.
Finding Answers, along with partner Center for Health Care Strategies, guided the learning process by using the evidence-based framework called the Roadmap to Reduce Disparities. This partnership produced many important successes, and all participating practices reported feeling that: (1) they had enhanced the culture of their organization; (2) made progress in their ability to identify disparities in their patient population; and, (3) designed—or laid the groundwork for—appropriate interventions to address them. At the same time, this initiative also generated numerous lessons learned, and documented key challenges and organizational constraints that are important for other health care organizations to understand when implementing similar efforts.
Scott Cook, PhD
Rachel DeMeester, MPH
Amanda Clarke, MPH
Mona El-Shamaa, MPH