Equitable Consumer Engagement a Key Component for the Safety-Net in North Carolina and Oregon

April 7th, 2022 | Viewpoint

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With health and racial equity always top of mind, alumni state primary care and behavioral health associations of the JSI-led Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net in North Carolina and Oregon have been working towards equitable consumer engagement processes and seeing the fruits of their efforts.

In North Carolina, the i2i Center for Integrative Health and the North Carolina Community Health Center Association partnered to convene a group of 15 consumers, family members, and health care providers to help guide the state’s new Medicaid care management program. The goal of this collaborative was to develop recommendations for North Carolina Medicaid about how to design and implement the new care management program to equitably meet the needs of patients and families. The team produced a series of three videos describing the collaborative process and an accompanying brief on Key Lessons on Meaningful Consumer and Family Engagement from North Carolina.

“Too often, consumers are considered volunteers. There’s nothing in it for them other than the ‘feel good’ part. We worked out an opportunity for folks to get paid for their time to make sure we were all sitting around the table, and we were all getting paid for it, which is important and meaningful.” —Facilitator (North Carolina)

In 2021, the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs (AOCMHP) led a multi-stakeholder planning process to design and launch a Rapid Engagement pilot in Oregon, with support from the Delta Center and the Oregon Health Authority. Rapid Engagement is a system transformation project with the goal of making it easier, faster, and more user-friendly for people to get started with receiving outpatient behavioral health services and uses a trauma-informed and person-centered approach to behavioral health access. In this blog post, AOCMHP outlines successful strategies for engaging people with lived experience in co-design processes.

Since 2018, JSI has led the Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net, a national initiative that brings together primary care associations and behavioral health state associations to advance policy and practice change. The goal of the Delta Center is to cultivate health policy and a care system that is more equitable and better meets the needs of individuals and families.

Learn more about the Delta Center through our regular newsletter, offering updates and resources.

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