Thought Leadership Virtual Seminar

How to Ensure Healthcare Equity in Keeping with Your Diversity and Inclusion Goals

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

10:00 – 11:30 AM

Racial justice protests and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color have shined a light on the need for organizations to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). The higher education industry has taking a leading role in tackling these challenges by evaluating and implementing policies that seek to ensure that all residents – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation – have the same opportunity to thrive. Recent New England Journal of Higher Education and Higher Education Today editorials have encouraged colleges and universities to act now to eradicate disparities and promote economic vitality.

How can we advance our educational institution’s DE&I objectives through our employee healthcare benefit program? Numerous studies have shown that gender, race, and ethnicity have a marked influence on a person’s health. The systematic disparities in the health status of population groups have significant social and economic costs to individuals and societies. COVID-19 has exacerbated these differences in health outcomes and access to care. How can we as healthcare purchasers and administrators be part of the solution?

Juan Lopera, Vice President of Business Diversity

At edHEALTH’s May 26 Thought Leadership Program, Juan Lopera, incoming inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer of Beth Israel Lahey Health, described how race, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation affect access to healthcare and health outcomes. He provided practical advice for improving employee access to care and overall health and well-being:

  • Why is it important to address these disparities?
  • How can health plan solutions be tailored to meet the needs of diverse individuals, including but not limited to clinical programs and service?
  • Which data should your plan administrator be gathering and reporting?
  • How can organizations address unconscious bias and racism?
  • What steps should your plan administrator take to collaborate with providers to improve access to care for all covered employees and family members?

In his new position, Juan Lopera will lead and accelerate Beth Israel Lahey Health’s efforts to transform care delivery for the underserved, while establishing diversity, equity and inclusion capabilities across the system. Prior to this position, he was Vice President of Business Diversity for the combined Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care organization and oversaw company-wide diversity efforts including health equity, multicultural customer offerings, supplier inclusion, and workforce equity and inclusion. He also oversaw business development, marketing, and community relations for the Tufts Health Plan public plans division. Before this, he was the Tufts Health Plan Director of Health Care Services where he led medical cost management and provider contracting strategy and analytics. He also held management roles at Blue Cross Blue Shield and Deloitte Consulting.

Mr. Lopera serves on serves on several boards including Vice-Chair of the Dimock Center Board, Co-Chair of The Boston Foundation’s Latino Legacy Fund, The State of Massachusetts COVID-19 advisory groups for health equity and vaccine communications, and The State's Latino Advisory Commission, Eastern Bank’s Board of Corporators, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Economic Opportunity Board and ConsejoSano’s Advisory Board. He earned a B.S. from the School of Management at Boston College. Read more about his story.

edHEALTH's complimentary Thought Leadership series is available to all edHEALTH members, business partners, and non-member schools. 

Get Ready, Get Set, Go! 

4th Annual Walking Challenge Stepped Off June 7

Monday, June 7 - Sunday, July 42021

Get ready to step it up – edHEALTH’s 4th Annual “Walk This Way to a Healthier You” challenge began on Monday, June 7. You and your faculty and staff won’t want to miss out – this year’s event includes awesome prizes and more opportunities to win. Member schools will again compete for the coveted edHEALTH Walking Challenge Trophy and ice cream celebration. And, you and your employees will want to get in on this year’s social media challenge for the opportunity to win a weekly “master” prize. 

This year’s challenge runs from Monday, June 7 through Sunday, July 4.

Participating Schools, Step Tracking, and Free Participant Gift

Eighteen of our 23 schools and the edHEALTH team are participating in this year’s Walking Challenge. The Walking Challenge Committee selected Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s wellness platform for step tracking. Yes, even if your school doesn’t use Harvard Pilgrim Health Care as a plan administrator, all participating schools and employees are eligible, regardless of health plan. Participants connect their fitness tracker or device app to the Limeade app via Harvard Pilgrim’s wellness account.

Some activity trackers don’t convert all forms of exercise into steps. If your employees are biking, swimming, lifting weights, practicing yoga, or taking part in other non-step-related exercise, they can convert these activities into steps.

Walkers can also register to receive a free water bottle; we'll mail it to their home.

Employee Communications

Team employees strive for 10,000 steps per day. We’ll send introductory and weekly share-it communications that you can forward to your employees to help them meet and exceed their step goals. We’ll also post these communications on our website in link and PDF formats. 

Weekly Prizes

For every week of the walking challenge, three winners from each school will be part of the “Walk This Way” gift card raffle. Participant eligibility for corresponding prizes:

  • 5,000 steps per day or 35,000 steps per week - $50 gift card
  • 7,500 steps per day / 52,500 step per week - $75 gift card
  • 10,000 steps per day/ 70,000 steps per week - $100 gift card.

Weekly Themes

Each week, employees will learn more about a particular wellness theme on the tiles within the Limeade app. We’ll promote these topics in the employee engagement communications and have tried to complement them with the weekly gift card prizes:

  • Week 1: Mindfulness - Zappos
  • Week 2: Nutrition – Whole Foods
  • Week 3: Exercise – Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Week 4: Relaxation - Amazon

Awesome Grand Prize

The top stepper at each competing school wins a $500 grand prize gift card!

Social Media Challenge

We want to hear and see member school employee stories of how they’re competing. Employees can share their walking pics and video clips on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook for the chance to win a weekly social media prize. Each week, edHEALTH will choose the best social media post and award a weekly $180 MasterClass all-access yearly pass. This online platform offers fun classes from celebrities for every interest: acting, cooking, decorating, comedy, mixology, singing, and more.

Ice Cream Social and Walk This Way Trophy

The edHEALTH school with the highest average steps wins an engraved “Walk This Way edHEALTH Walking Challenge” trophy and ice cream social. We’ll determine the highest average by adding up the total number of steps walked and dividing it by the number of participating employees at your school.

Boston College won last year’s Annual edHEALTH “Walk This Way” Challenge. Which member school will win this year? Although we don’t know, we do know that everyone will have fun participating, competing with others, and being active.

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Contact edHEALTH today for more information.