Case Study: Empowering Family Caregivers in Underserved and Marginalized Populations

The Cigna Foundation provided programmatic support for the Washington, DC – based Coalition to Transform Care’s (C-TAC) faith-based caregiver outreach initiatives in 2019. The initiative targets ethnic and racial disparities and aligns with UN SDG 3 “Good Health and Well-Being” and 10 “Reduced Inequality.

C-TAC's faith-based caregiver outreach initiatives are contributing to a decrease in inadequate access to medical care for urban Latino/Hispanic and African American/Black patients during advanced chronic illness and increasing support for family caregivers within these populations. Recognizing that a general distrust of health care systems within these populations was contributing to co-morbidities and inadequate access to medical care for patients with advanced illness and that a majority of caregivers within these populations identify as spiritual, C-TAC engaged the faith community to act as a bridge between stakeholders in the medical community and family caregivers. From 2017-2019, leveraging a grant from the Cigna Foundation, C-TAC partnered with places of worship and developed relationships with these hard to reach patients and their caregivers in order to facilitate better medical outcomes. These partnerships allowed for caregivers and patients to become more comfortable with the medical community and ensured that the values and needs of these underserved and marginalized populations – rather than clinical protocol alone – informed care delivery.

C-TAC's faith-based caregiver initiative targets Latino/Hispanic and African American/Black populations. These populations have historically been underserved and marginalized within society and by extension – health care systems. While one of many drivers, this dynamic has contributed to the health disparities that exist within both populations. C-TAC's program not only engages caregivers and patients in a new way, it offers a new model of engagement for the health care system. Cigna is committed to eliminating health disparities through support of nonprofits like C-TAC as well as research and advocacy on the subject.

2019 Impact Metrics:

  • Built an Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup to over 70 members with a collective reach of 200,000 individuals.
  • Used a digital ethnographic study of over 6,000 conversations with caregivers to glean insight into the mental, physical, and financial health of family caregivers supporting someone with an advanced illness.
  • Held a number of community workshops with clergy, who are trusted conveners in their communities, across the mid-Atlantic.
  • Convened three summits to disseminate the research and results of C-TAC’s faith-based caregiver outreach project, reaching 1,200 professionals.