This Month with the CUAD

This Month with the CUAD

By Sharon Owens - HHSC - CEDD Disproportionality & Disparities Specialist

 

 

 

The CUAD of Abilene has been very busy over the last one to twomonths. The group has refocused its efforts on relationship building with”systems” across our city, county and surrounding areas. The purpose is toengage Abilenecommunities in identifying areas of need within its communities, and workingtogether to address those needs. This strategy is based in the Texas Model for addressingdisproportionality and disparities. The elements of the Texas Model includeapplying data-driven strategies, leadership development, culturally competentworkforce development, community engagement and cross-systems collaborations,to name a few. Strengthening its relationships with its current partners andallies , the CUAD is furtherdeveloping its partnerships with some of the HHSC agencies and has recently partnered with the Texas Workforce System, HendrickMedical Center, the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce and the AbileneFaith-Based Community. Utilizing the Anti-Racist Strategy Chart , the group is lookingforward to engaging the communities of Abilene in numerous projects, fairs andtown hall meetings to enhance the health and well-being of all children, theirfamilies and other vulnerable citizens served by the agencies and systems inthis community. {{more}} The group is working to expand the knowledge and culturalcompetence of practitioners who work with vulnerable citizens of color; toexpand the availability of resources offered, to increase the awareness ofdisproportionality and disparities in the Health and Human Services systems anddevelop best practices and methods to improve outcomes for all families; and topreserve the fidelity and integrity of the disproportionality and disparitieswork in our city and in our counties.             Themonth of April was National Minority Health Month which drove the group’semphasis on reaching out to the area healthcare industry, healthcare providersand systems. A committee was formed with the task of informing our communitiesof the increased risks afforded people of color, and to aid in identifyingmethods of eliminating some of these risks by the individuals impacted and thesystems charged with providing services to those at risks. Primary to thiseffort are the healthcare systems and the faith-based community. The first ofthese specific events is scheduled to take place at the Plum Street United Methodist Church located at 629 N. 6th Street, Abilene on May 8, 2012.             Alsoduring the month of April, the CUAD – Midland/Odessa was formally structured.The Midland/Odessa group formed and approved the name “CUAD – Midland/Odessa.”The member recommending the use of the acronym “CUAD” made his recommendationwith the validation that “CUAD means something.” The members of the Abilene group should beproud that the work they are doing is having such tremendous influence.  As an additional element of the effort to eliminatedisproportionality and disparities, an Adoption Forum promoting the adoption ofminority children was held on April 24th at the New Light Baptist Churchlocated at 518 N. 6th Street, Abilene.Numerous local pastors, clergy and communities members heard testimonials fromformer youth of the child welfare system and parents who had fostered andadopted them. Expressions of love and thanks filled the room. Plans to continueidentifying healthy and safe homes through the faith-based community weredeveloped. The CUAD – Abilene has severalevents planned for the month of May 2012. Of particular importance is the May11th Stakeholders Introduction to Undoing Racism Workshop. System,community and faith-based leaders will come together for an entire day toanalyze power, define racism , understand the manifestationsof racism, learn from history, share culture and organize to undo racism.Thirty to forty of our city’s leaders will be guided through this experience bymembers of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond in this intensive twoand ½ day workshop designed to educate, challenge and empower people to “undo”the structures that hinder effective social change. Also present during thatworkshop will be Joyce James, Associate Deputy Executive Commissioner for the HHSC Centerfor Elimination of Disproportionality & Disparities. Other events are beingplanned and all are welcome to be a part of the effort.             Tobecome a part of this very interesting and worthy effort in your city, call thenumber below or attend the monthly CUAD meeting in your city. The Abilene group meets the first Tuesday of each month at the G.V. Daniels Community Center, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  The Midland/Odessa group alternates betweenthe two cities on the third Thursday of each month and the meetings begin at6:00 p.m.  For more information, call 795-5541.  “Like” and “Share” CUADon FaceBook.  Also, visit the Centerwebsite at http:www.hhsc.state.tx.us/hhsc_projects/cedd/ . Keep up to date on all events with the West Texas Tribune at www.westtexastribune.com.