ChristianaCare Connects with Community Partners to Address Social Determinants of Health in Delaware
View from the C-Suite: Bettina Tweardy Riveros, Chief Health Equity Officer at ChristianaCare
// By Ndome Yvonne Essoka //
When Bettina Tweardy Riveros joined ChristianaCare as chief health equity officer in 2016, she assumed responsibility for engaging community stakeholders in partnerships that advance ChristianaCare’s vision for a healthy Delaware.
According to Riveros, the guiding principles of building strong community partnerships can be summed up in the phrase “nothing about us, without us.” This method of engaging community partners entails active listening. “We reached out to community partners, actively listened to them, and spent time assuring them that we understood their community needs, and that we planned to include that in our framework,” she says.
In 2019, ChristianaCare ushered in its first “community investment fund,” a unique strategic initiative based on collaboration with community partners to solve the social, behavioral, and environmental factors that amplify adverse health outcomes. Using its “bio-psycho-social” model of care, ChristianaCare works to address the conditions people grow, live, and play in, known as the social determinants of health.
This joint effort allows for true partnership, and it provides an avenue for ChristianaCare to further expand its health equity endeavors in diverse and inclusive ways.