November | 2020

It’s the season of thanksgiving and we are thankful for the support you give to Health Equity Solutions! With your help, HES has promoted equitable health care access, delivery, and outcomes for all Connecticut residents! This year, COVID-19 laid bare how important this work is in Connecticut and critical you are to our work. Thank you to all funders, supporters, partners, and friends. We hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday. 


Race, ethnicity, and primary language (REL) data plays a significant role in identifying disparities and advancing health equity. Currently, Connecticut has inconsistent standards for REL data collection resulting in limited data accuracy, completeness, and detail. The collection of detailed options (e.g.  Korean, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese etc.), would more accurately reflect the geographic, linguistic, and cultural diversity that are masked by the broad OMB race categories (e.g. Asian). Standardizing REL data collection and reporting statewide will allow us to better identify barriers to health that are driving differences in health outcomes between specific groups and course correct approaches so that all residents can attain their optimal health regardless of race, ethnicity or English proficiency.


(LOB= Legislative Office Building)
Election season is over. The CT General Assembly will have mostly new leadership: Representative Ritter is the next House speaker, Rep. Rojas is the incoming majority leader, Sen. Kelley and Rep. Candelora will serve as minority leaders. Sen. Looney remains the Senate majority leader. The 2021 legislative session begins in January.



High voter turnout across Connecticut and the country demonstrated a fierce determination to be heard.  Thank you, Connecticut health equity voters, for your commitment to making health equity and health care a factor in this election! Follow HES on social media for information about what we are doing to make health equity a priority in Connecticut.

  • To inform our 2021 legislative agenda, Health Equity Solutions conducted 8 listening sessions across Connecticut, with a total of 92 participants from 37 towns/cities. Priorities participants identified are summarized here and will inform our 2021 policy agenda.
  • In late March, Health Equity Solutions launched a community assessment survey to center the voices of the community, particularly people of color, in the state’s pandemic response. Thank you to all who participated! This work was made possible through support from the William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund and the support of our partners at Ledge Light Health District, who helped us successfully translate the survey into Spanish and Haitian Creole. A summary of the results is online or read coverage of the results here.
  • #GivingTuesday is a global movement helps inspire personal philanthropy and encourage charitable giving during the holiday season. On or before December 1st we ask that you consider participating by making HES one of your top three donations on or before December 1st.

Share in our progress by following us @HealthEquityCT and by using #GivingTuesday on social media.

You can give anytime, but on #GivingTuesday, December 1, Facebook and PayPal will match a total of $7 Million in donations. Thank you for your support!


This month, we discussed the second half of Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell begins and ends the book with accounts of Sandra Bland, a young Black woman who was pulled over for a minor traffic violation and died by suicide in a jail cell. Gladwell weaves a recurring theme of humans using visual cues to ascertain how strangers, people we don’t know, think and feel in any given situation. Each example reflects just how bad we are at accurately reading visual cues. Additionally, through historical accounts, he provides evidence for “coupling”— a theory that our attempts to determine someone’s motives for engaging in crime, sex work, suicide, or sexual assault depend on circumstance. In the end, Gladwell posits that coupling and assessment of visual cues lead us to blame the stranger when encounters don’t go well. The officer whose interactions with Sandra Bland escalated into her arrest and death, blamed Sandra Bland.  Working towards equity requires that we confront our assumptions and assessments so that we can confront and dismantle the racism that permeates our systems and ways of being. We are grateful to have you by our side in this pursuit of equity and justice.


Health Equity Solutions
175 Main Street 3rd Floor | Hartford, Connecticut 06106
860.461.7637 |

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