- Eboni Winford
- Jennifer M. Jabson Tree
- Judson C. Laughter
Research Project Description
We seek to apply a public health critical race praxis to uncover specific ways structural racism influences the health outcomes and needs for BIPoC people receiving care at Cherokee Health Systems (CHS), a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center (FQHC). FQHCs offer high quality, affordable primary and preventive care to underserved populations. While FQHCs were designed to address access and quality, they are not explicitly antiracist and, thus, not immune to structural racism in healthcare and patient experience. Little empirical evidence describes the specific pathways of structural racism and its effects on health outcomes and health needs among BIPoC patients receiving care at FQHCs.
Our project addresses the following research question: What are the specific pathways and effects that structural racism has on healthcare experiences and health outcomes, among patients who receive care at CHS?
The partnership between researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and CHS seeks to use this project to address these community-identified needs. Our mixed methods project involves qualitative interviews, health equity surveys, and policy analysis. Our data sources and analysis will investigate and work to disrupt the relationships between structural racism and how patients perceive and experience the care they receive at CHS. Our primary goal is to improve the health and healthcare experiences of BIPoC patients by eliminating or obviating the influences of structural racism within healthcare. We see this proposal serving as a pilot study for a larger effort to understand structural racism across the Cherokee Health Care System, which reached more than 69,000 patients in all parts of Tennessee last year. The data collected will be analyzed to develop recommendations for operations that improve BIPoC health outcomes in Knoxville CHS sites and then scaled to all CHS sites with the goal to provide a roadmap for FQHCs across the nation.
Eboni Winford is the Director of Research and Health Equity at Cherokee Health Systems. She earned a doctorate in clinical health psychology and a master's of public health with a concentration in health policy. Her training emphasized the complex intersections of systems of inequity and oppression; social determinants of health; and policy and their impacts on health outcomes. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and provides care in one of CHS's clinics adjacent to a public housing complex.
Jennifer M. Jabson Tree
Jennifer Jabson Tree is an associate professor of Public Health at the University of Tennessee. She received formal and applied training in PH research with emphasis on addressing social determinants of health disparities. She addresses health inequity and disparities by investigating the role of structural, organizational, social, interpersonal, and intrapersonal factors and implementing evidence-based interventions/policies/programs at multiple locations across a social ecological system.
Judson C. Laughter
Judson Laughter is an associate professor of English education at the University of Tennessee. He is a teacher educator who prepares new teachers to see the classroom as a site for social change through the tools of social justice and antiracism. His academic training and expertise draws on many fields, including Critical Race Theory, culturally relevant education, nonviolence, and racial development.