Project Equity: Improving Health Equity for People with Serious Illness

Certain groups—Black, Hispanic/LatinX, Indigenous communities, LGBTQ+, rural communities, and low-income populations—suffer disproportionately in the face of serious illness. Due to structural racism, historical exclusion, or ongoing discrimination, these groups experience worse pain management, ineffective communication from providers, an alarming burden on family caregivers, and overall lack of access to, or use of, palliative care services.

Major structural change is required to achieve a U.S. health system that provides high-quality, person-centered, equitable care for all patients with serious illness. The goal of CAPC’s Project Equity initiative is to create a pathway and tools the palliative care field can use to effectuate meaningful change that will reduce the inequities experienced by traditionally marginalized communities.

Organizational Focus

With a 20-year track record of diffusing innovation to drive social change in health care, CAPC is taking a proactive approach to addressing health disparities in the care of patients with serious illness. Asking ourselves what can we do differently to improve or enhance our organization’s capacity to advance health equity, and what is our plan of action to implement those changes, we focused our strategic priorities on four key areas of action:

  • Addressing gaps in access to palliative care services for underserved patient populations
  • Equipping clinicians to be aware of, and address, disparities in their clinical practice
  • Using market research to develop public and professional awareness strategies that promote equity in palliative care
  • Providing a national platform for palliative care leaders of color

But addressing the complexities of health equity requires all health organizations to take an active role. Through Project Equity, CAPC will provide new practical tools, innovative practices, and training to help the palliative care field take action to effectively improve health equity for all patients living with a serious illness.

Project Equity Resources