CareSource Named a Leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

September 10th, 2021 | 6 min read


Diversity, equity and inclusion are key for CareSource to be a trusted partner to members, health partners and employees. CareSource champions diversity and inclusion in the health care space by focusing on improving Health Equity. The Dayton Business Journal has named CareSource as a winner of the 2021 Diversity in Business Awards as an Outstanding Diversity Organization. The nationally recognized nonprofit health plan works to reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities in health and social determinants of health that adversely affect excluded or marginalized groups through strategic financial investments, community programs and employee engagement. 

Community Programs 

At CareSource, addressing social determinants of health and health equity are more than trendy phrases, it’s what we have been doing for nearly six and a half years every day through our CareSource Life Services® program. We deploy Life Coaches who live and work throughout the state, in the communities we serve, connecting members to a wide array of community resources, from food security to housing. We offer groundbreaking programs like CareSource JobConnect™ to pair our members with Life Coaches for up to 24 months to address barriers to finding jobs. We offer individualized support from resume writing to connecting members with our more than 200 employer partners, including many that are second chance employers. 

David, a CareSource member, knows first-hand the impact the CareSource JobConnect program can make on his health and future. Watch his story on our website.  

CareSource serves roughly 8,000 new members each year who are re-entering society from the criminal justice system. We assist this often-overlooked population and stop the cycle of recidivism through our unique care and transition planning that is tailored for each member based on physical and behavioral health history, social needs and the member’s self-sufficiency goals. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit this underserved population particularly hard. CareSource has seen a 14.4% increase in engagement for the post-release population with complex health needs during COVID-19 pandemic due to heightened care coordination. 

CareSource is also addressing an emerging social determinant of health often referred to as the “digital divide.” In Dayton, the organization recently committed $400,000 to support the long-term sustainability of the Dayton-Montgomery County Digital Equity Initiative. The program specifically has brought high-speed Wi-Fi to more than 1,000 residents living in five greater Dayton housing communities: Desoto Bass, Park Manor, Wilkinson Plaza, Westdale Terrace, and Fitch and Hawthorn. The partnership provides opportunities for individuals to go to school, work from home, access telehealth services and search for employment through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This is just one example of the many digital equity projects CareSource has funded in all its markets.  

Strategic Financial Investments 

In early June 2019, CareSource identified a program through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati to provide funding for home repairs after natural disasters. As a member of FHLB, CareSource organized partnerships with CountyCorp and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton to help people rebuild their homes. As the program ended, 63 homeowners impacted by the Memorial Day tornadoes have been helped with repairs totaling over $980,000.  

Read the story of a family helped through this partnership on our website.  

In 2020, the CareSource Foundation was able to support Inclusive Neighborhoods Housing Corporation (INHC) with an $80,000 grant that provided funding needed for the reconstruction of six housing units for individuals with developmental disabilities. The homes were severely damaged in the tornadoes but through funding from CareSource Foundation, State of Ohio and Montgomery County they were able to rebuild the homes and make improvements that allow for residents with a higher level of needs to be served. INHC saw this event as an opportunity to step up and provide community-based housing for individuals that often remain in institutional settings because of their complex needs. 

Read the full story on our website.  

Beyond housing, the CareSource Foundation annually supports the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Partnership (MBP) with a $10,000 grant. The MBP focuses on accelerating the growth of sizable scalable minority businesses and expanding the Dayton region minority entrepreneurial community, enabling minority-owned firms to create jobs and overall wealth for the regional economy. 

This week, the CareSource Foundation announced a $375K signature grant awarded to the American Heart Association HBCU Scholars. The program seeks to close the gap of health disparities and inequities by creating a diverse pipeline of culturally competent health care professionals and deploying them into communities with viable solutions to eradicate heart disease and its contributing factors. The grant will fund 15 undergraduate students, support AHA’s expansion into the Midwest region and launch the first HBCU Scholars Program in Ohio. 

Read the press release in the CareSource Newsroom

Employee Engagement  

CareSource drives cultural change throughout our organization through required training for all employees, incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion into all our Human Capital practices, and holding all employees accountable for creating an inclusive work environment.  

Since declaring racism as a public health crisis in June of 2020 and joining the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Business Coalition for the Equality Act, CareSource has established a process of identifying and eliminating bias (implicit, explicit and systemic) both within the company and at provider-level, our members’ point-of-service.  

Our approach is simple: We are transparent; we aim for gender and ethnic diversity at every level of leadership; we seek to elevate our cultural competence across our entire organization; and we hold every CareSource Team Member responsible for our success. Ultimately, we incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion into all our human capital and talent mobility practices to eliminate bias. 

Our multiple employee-led groups focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to strengthen our commitment to creating a sustainable and inclusive culture, encourage employee engagement and involvement and continually advance our DEI strategy.  

One of the primary vehicles is the creation of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). CareSource’s ERGs foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with organizational mission, values, goals, business practices and objectives. ERGs promote diversity as a business strategy and provide their specialized lens to better connect with co-workers and the local community.  

All of CareSource’s ERGs align with the company’s mission to make a lasting difference in our members' lives by improving their health and well-being. Diversity, equity and inclusion are key enablers to achieving this purpose and help CareSource to be the most trusted partner to members, health partners and employees. Establishing ERGs help expand CareSource’s services by representing marginalized populations and bringing a new perspective on how to better serve minority members. 

Already, nearly a quarter of our employees identify with one or more of CareSource’s five ERGs across the country.  

CareSource considers it as our collective responsibility to take action and create an environment of empathy for how we serve the most vulnerable among us. We remain committed to the ongoing investment of becoming an anti-racist, anti-bias, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic and anti-xenophobic organization.