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Health Disparities and Health Equity


Addressing health disparities and advancing equity is a major area of focus for the New England ATTC. Our ATTC offers multiple training and TA events on this topic regionally.

Recent highlights include:

New England School of Best Practices and School of Addiction and Prevention Studies[BD1] 

On an annual basis, the New England ATTC partners on two flagship regional summer education programs for the addiction treatment and recovery workforce: New England School of Best Practices in Addiction Services (commonly called Best Practices) and New England School of Addiction and Prevention Studies (commonly called Summer School). In 2023, the New England ATTC hosted and sponsored a number of plenary sessions and specialized courses focused on health disparities and health equity across these two schools including (but not limited to[BD2] ):

  • Evidence-Based Practices in Working with Justice-Involved Populations - This course explores risk assessments, case planning, cognitive behavioral programming, motivational interviewing and other intervention models that are proven to lead to positive outcomes and the reduction of recidivism in justice-involved populations.
  • Health Disparities and Building Equity in SUD Services - This course is designed to highlight and explore the needs of addiction service professionals working with culturally diverse individuals, organizations, and communities.
  •  Race and Violence in Our Communities – This training explores the cycle of violence and structural racism in historically marginalized communities as a key public health issue.
  • Coming into the Light - Breaking the Stigma of Substance Use Disorders - This course is designed to help professionals break that stigma that creates an unnecessary barrier to treatment by understanding recovery oriented language and strategies that can be integrated into practice immediately.
  •  Health Disparities and Building Equity for SUD Clinicians – This training clarifies the role that behavioral health disparities, cultural humility, and cultural intelligence play in clinical settings and provides concrete evidence-based strategies to promote equitable care provision.

Leadership Development Program (LDP)

Twice per year, the New England ATTC offers the Leadership Development Program (LDP) for addiction professionals from across the continuum of care in partnership with AdCare Educational Institute of New England and the New England PTTC.  This intensive TA initiative is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of leaders, and special attention is paid throughout the recruitment and application process to ensure a diverse cadre of participants. The LDP curriculum has a major component focused on recruiting, retaining, and supervising diverse employees, as the diversification of the workforce is a major regional and national priority for the treatment and recovery workforce. 

Cultural Intelligence: Understanding and Incorporating CLAS Standards into Practice

The New England ATTC periodically hosts “Cultural Intelligence: Understanding and Incorporating CLAS Standards into Practice" for treatment and recovery professionals. Adapted from the national CLAS standards, this workshop highlights and explores the needs of treatment professionals working with culturally diverse individuals, organizations, and communities. 

Social Determinants of Health: Their Impacts on Disparities, Discriminatory Practices, and the Need to Develop and Deliver Services Grounded in Equity

The New England ATTC periodically hosts this targeted TA workshop for treatment and recovery professionals. This workshop highlights the need for treatment professionals to consider and address social determinants of health in order to deliver services grounded in equity.

Health Equity Self-Assessments

Our two regional subject matter experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion, Michele Stewart-Copes and Haner Hernandez offer intensive technical assistance to organizations and Departments of Health on best practices in fostering an equitable, inclusive culture. Technical assistance activities commonly include the formation of an Equity and Inclusion Committee, and the conduct of an organizational self-assessment using the CLAS Assessment Tool. The CLAS Assessment tool was developed by the New England ATTC to help organizations to assess their level of cultural and linguistic competence throughout all of their operations. You can view the CLAS Needs Assessment Tool here.

Commentary by the New England ATTC on the need to advance health equity has been featured on the ATTC/NIATx Service Improvement Blog and can be viewed here and here.

 [BD1] I linked all courses to the Summer School overview page on our website calendar.

 [BD2]I left this as past tense even though Best Practices hasn’t happened yet since it is only a few weeks away. Their course calendar isn’t posted yet so we can always update again if Best Practices is holding any additional courses not yet listed here.