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First health equity database created by Anthem Foundation and CHC: Creating Healthier Communities

Anthem Foundation and CHC: Creating Healthier Communities today announced the development of a health equity database and new typology for defining community partnerships. This database identifies organizations working on the social determinants of health (SDOH), factors known to influence health, and their community connection points. The preliminary results of the project, conducted in Central Indiana, provide a compelling snapshot of the extensive amount of work underway to address health equity and lay the groundwork for improving collective action aimed at improving community health outcomes. This database is the first of its kind created in Central Indiana, and Anthem and CHC have plans to replicate it and share its benefits and learnings nationally.

“The result of this collaboration is a powerful example of how we can harness the valuable work community based organizations and local leaders are doing to address the realities of our communities and people’s lives,” said Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., Chief Health Officer at Anthem, Inc. “As partners in our community, the Anthem Foundation is excited to see how this collaboration will help efforts to advance health and social equity not only in Indiana but across the country.”

As part of a continued commitment to community health and advancing health equity, Anthem Foundation partnered with CHC: Creating Healthier Communities to understand the breadth and scope of health equity work underway in Central Indiana. The project began in June 2019 with a landscape assessment and survey of nearly 300 local, state, and national organizations serving the Greater Indianapolis community. CHC partnered locally with Health by Design and the Indiana Public Health Association to identify and illustrate the interconnected activities of organizations working across the five health equity focus areas: economic stability, education, social and community matters, health and healthcare, and neighborhoods and the built environment.

“Anthem Foundation understands we need to focus beyond just the programs and services that address health equity,” said Thomas G. Bognanno, president and CEO of CHC: Creating Healthier Communities. “Together, we’re going deeper to understand the entire ecosystem of civic infrastructure that advances community health and wellbeing. I am optimistic that we will—after decades of collective work—begin to see measurable improvements. Anthem is blazing a trail for the country.”

The Anthem Foundation health equity database for Central Indiana features descriptive information from over 150 organizations. Not only does the database identify an extensive amount of work in progress across all five health equity focus areas, but also, the results reveal that a significant number of organizations are working across multiple focus areas. Preliminary results of the assessment found that 11% of respondents are working in all five health equity focus areas, and 18% are working in four of five focus areas. Preliminary results also indicated that organizations are prioritizing Economic Stability work, with 72% of respondents engaged in this focus area.

To advance the national discourse around health equity, this project also created a new typology for defining community-based organizations as Super Connectors, Super Contributors, or Priority Focused, based on the number of health equity focus areas in their purview and partnerships within their network. Creating this new typology gives shared language to this emerging field and helps advance the work in Indiana and beyond.

“There is a growing recognition and understanding that our zip code is more important than our genetic code in shaping how well and how long we live,” said Kim Irwin, Health by Design executive director. “Documenting the work underway in Central Indiana and beyond to address the connections between public health and factors like jobs, wages, education, food access, and transportation allows for better alignment and coordinated action among partners invested in improving the wellbeing of people and places.”

The results of this project have implications for both Central Indiana and communities across the country working to understand and address these complicated issues. In most communities, leaders and organizations from every sector have acknowledged the significant influence of health equity and the social determinants of health on health and quality of life. However, given the complexity of the work, it is difficult for communities to keep track of and have a clear understanding of “who is doing what” and “how everyone’s work is connected”. Without this clarity, communities cannot properly leverage collective action models. Using the health equity database, organizations working in and across the many focus areas can identify and connect with each other more easily and effectively plus tap into a vast inventory of work underway across the region. The Anthem Foundation health equity database can provide communities with a valuable resource to connect, enhance, and improve health equity interventions.

For more information about the database, methodology, or results, please visit

About CHC: Creating Healthier Communities:
CHC: Creating Healthier Communities, formerly Community Health Charities, is a catalyst for good health, bringing communities, nonprofits, and businesses together around a shared commitment to better health and wellbeing. Together with partners, CHC works to address the barriers to good health and equity and create resilient communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. CHC represents thousands of high-impact nonprofits, connecting them with resources from our corporate, foundation and government partners to power transformative change. For more information, visit or @chcimpact.

About HbD: Health by Design, Indiana Public Health Association:
Health by Design works at the intersection of the built environment and public health, collaborating across sectors and disciplines to ensure Indiana communities have neighborhoods, public spaces and transportation infrastructure that promote active living for all. Health by Design achieves its goals by advocating for policy change, building community capacity, convening diverse partners, educating on best practices, facilitating dialogue, promoting smart design, and providing technical assistance.

The Indiana Public Health Association, which builds capacity among public health professionals and partners to achieve health equity and well-being for all across the state of Indiana, is managed through Health by Design.

About Anthem Foundation:
The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the organization’s commitment to improving lives and communities. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit and its blog at

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Source: PRWeb
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