CHI CEO Joanne Calista Speaks at Meeting on Equity in Caregiving Project

October 14, 2023

Last week, MA Governor Healy welcomed community members, family caregivers, healthcare providers, and clergy to launch a statewide Equity in Caregiving project. Center for Health Impact CEO Joanne Calista spoke on a panel, moderated by Brian Gibbs, PhD, VP & Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at UMass Memorial Health, sharing her own experiences caregiving for her seriously ill, hospitalized Mother and Father. Ms. Calista also offered issues for healthcare providers to consider when caring for their patients:

  • Care and treatment of one person is not just the care and treatment of that one person – both positive and negative experiences reverberate across families and communities and affect decisions they make about their own healthcare in the future; and
  • Inequities continue, for some families, even after their loved one has died – such as the ability to make organ donations, or who does/does not get reported for investigation by the Medical Examiner. Health care providers can be powerful advocates in navigating these challenges.

The Equity in Caregiving project is funded by a 5-year NIH grant awarded to Principal Investigators Jennifer Tjia, MD, MSCE and Susan DeSanto-Madeya, PhD, APRN-CNS and their teams. Its vision is a healthcare system where persons living with serious illness and their family caregivers are actively welcomed, valued, and connected with clinicians and resources to optimize delivery of high-quality palliative care, regardless of background, socioeconomic class, race, ethnicity and gender identity.