Civic News

The Proximity Project: Healthcare aims to reduce health inequities in Delaware

The eight-week cohort will being together leaders from Nemours, ChristianaCare, Highmark and Penn Medicine, among others.

The ChristianaCare bus in December 2019.

(Photo by Holly Quinn)

April is National Minority Health Month, and The Proximity Project (TPP), a Delaware-based racial justice organization, is launching a new training program designed for healthcare leaders this week.

The Proximity Project: Healthcare is an eight-week virtual healthcare cohort that will bring together a diverse set of leaders in healthcare systems, insurance companies, health-focused nonprofits, public health, and other organizations seeking to improve health outcomes.

“The pandemic has provided a painful reminder about health disparities in communities of color and the need for anyone seeking to improve health outcomes to get much more connected to those communities,” said Atnre Alleyne, founder of The Proximity Project, in a statement.

Among the participants will be Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall Long — herself a trained nurse, health scientist and chair of the state’s Behavioral Health Consortium — and eight staff members from Nemours Children’s Health System who serve on the organization’s DRIVE (Diversity, Anti-Racism, Inclusion, Value and Equity) core team. ChristianaCare, Delaware’s largest health system, will also be participating.

The weekly sessions will feature guest speakers, discussions on assigned readings and complete organizational and leadership assessments, and will allow participants to connect with other institution leaders working toward equity and racial justice.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware will be offering a grant through its health fund BluePrints for the Community to support the participation of staff members from a community-based health nonprofit organization, and will send its own representative to participate.


“Health professionals, whether as an insurer or provider or advocate, can only be more effective and compassionate by better understanding the unique communities and individuals they serve,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware.

The Proximity Project: Healthcare was conceived in early 2021 with the support of Dr. Roshni Guerry, a triple board certified palliative physician currently serving as an associate professor at Penn Medicine, and Mike Eppehimer, a senior healthcare executive and leadership consultant, with a goal to craft an experience that would shift mindsets, policies and practices within the healthcare sector.

“There’s so much to be proud of when it comes to medical advances in the United States, but that progress has been stymied by the systematic health care oppression of Black and Brown communities,” Guerry said. “I’m committed to The Proximity Project because it combines awareness and motivation with tangible actions to address racial inequity.”

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