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Rochester RHIO Declares that Racism is a Public Health Crisis

We count on health data to measure access, clinical outcomes, costs, and other crucial components of care. Race and ethnicity are part of this data set, influencing planning, aiding decisions, and changing lives. And, we know that many count on Rochester RHIO as one of community’s key resources for this information.

Data quality and completeness allows accurate assessments of the health and well-being of residents—and identifying inequities. Rochester RHIO is a trusted data steward spanning 14 counties and 1.5 million people. Yet as robust as our systems are, we can do better. Our team is committed to improving how race and ethnicity data are recorded, collaborating with other regional healthcare agencies and experts to evaluate and reform policies and processes that deliver the most precise information possible.

In keeping with this commitment, our Board of Directors and leadership supports the Black Agenda of Greater Rochester in declaring that racism is a public health crisis. Concurrently, we are instituting several near-term and extended goals.

The RHIO will:

  • Focus on improving health information exchange data related to race, ethnicity, and gender.
  • Emphasize building diversity into our Board and committee membership.
  • Improve hiring processes to prioritize workforce diversity.
  • Provide diversity training for all staff.
  • Support staff volunteerism, focusing on opportunities that address systemic change, advocacy, and leadership development in the community.

Rochester RHIO will never stop working to ensure that the health information on which so many rely is free from racial bias, as well as our community at large. We look forward to sharing our progress against these actions in the months and years to come.