Community and Students Together Against Healthcare Racism (CSTAHR) is a coalition of community members from the Denver & Aurora area, health professions students at the University of Colorado Anschutz Campus, pre-health students, faculty members, and medical residents.
CSTAHR was established with the vision to have students and community work together to better understand perceived discrimination and design feasible interventions to better equip future healthcare providers and community members to reduce the effects of implicit bias. By effectively engaging in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), CSTAHR amplifies the voices of community members and ensures that local community health needs are identified and addressed, specifically with regards to systemic racism.
Upon its founding in 2010, members of CSTAHR used focus groups to identify multiple key elements of perceived discrimination and then formed interventions to combat provider biases & assumptions, lack of trust in the healthcare system, and institutional racism, both historical and current.
Though CSTAHR acknowledges that many more factors contribute to systemic racism, CSTAHR established the following projects as priorities in working to reduce the impacts of racism on health outcomes: curriculum development at the University of Colorado School of Medicine to address implicit biases and communication skills in future healthcare providers, a youth mentorship program to encourage engagement and interest in healthcare professions in youth from communities that have been historically marginalized and oppressed to increase representation in healthcare professions, and community empowerment in healthcare settings.
We have also partnered with the Department of Family Medicine to honor one of our community members, Greg White, in a lecture series that focuses upon health disparities. Another partnership is with the State Networks of Ambulatory Practices and Partners (SNOCAP) and Addressing Infant Mortality (AIM) to create, distribute, and evaluate results of patient and provider surveys that seek to better understand experiences of discrimination and bias during clinical care.