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Message from the CEO – December 2020

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — December 21, 2020
When I wrote to you this time last year, none of us could have predicted what was ahead in 2020. What a year! 

The last 12 months have been full of surprise and opportunity, of sorrow and hope, and put a spotlight on the power of community. We have seen health care disparities worsened by COVID-19. We have seen the pandemic take an economic toll on populations that were already on the margin, further compromising their health, housing, and overall well-being. We will continue to work within our counties and with our providers to be of support during this unprecedented time. I’m hopeful and even as I type, these vaccinations are being administered.  We will get through this. All of us.
 
This summer, we were overwhelmed by a series of public acts of racial injustice. As a leader and as an organization we recognized an important next step was to listen and then determine how to respond. This problem wasn’t created overnight and being thoughtful and deliberate in our response will ensure we know our role in addressing systemic racism. There are many ongoing action steps we have taken, and we continue to refine our approach through the leadership of our Director of Diversity and Inclusion. For example, we’re working with our Cultural Competence Provider Council to offer an Implicit Bias Training to our provider network, we’re intentionally engaging in more diverse local partnership/sponsorship activities, we’re rewriting internal policies and procedures to remove any unintended bias, and we’re cultivating a culture of inclusion among our workforce and staff through trainings, optional facilitated discussions, and more thoughtful recruiting. We remain committed to stand together with our members and communities against racism, discrimination, and social injustices.  
 
Early fall we began working with the Center to Advance Consumer Partnership (CACP) to better understand our member’s experience, and ultimately, drive better health outcomes. Through this work, we are gaining real, meaningful insight into every point of interaction that our members with I/DD have with Cardinal Innovations. We will be a better organization when this work is complete – it is already informing positive change and I am grateful for our members who are engaging in this process.  
 
Over the last few months we have been publicly working to address issues that are of concern to many of our counties. The significant change that needs to happen, requires partnership from all our stakeholders. I’m appreciative that many of our counties have chosen this approach. We’ve been working over the last year to strengthen our piece of the child welfare continuum, and we are making meaningful progress. I’m particularly grateful to the NC Department of Health and Human Services for their engagement and for the providers who have come to the table with creative solutions to ensure a better system for our state’s children. I’m also appreciative to many of you who have advocated on our behalf, provided public comment to counties seeking input, and been engaged with us in honest conversations. We have work to do – and are committed to rolling up our sleeves with all involved.  

Yesterday, we welcomed Winter – my favorite season and the promise of snow (lots of snow if I get my way). Its time to refresh, reset, and reclaim the hope of the year ahead. Our team is hard at work, making changes through executing both our Plan of Action, and responding to the Request for Application (RFA) to become a Tailored Plan. We are looking ahead to the future, and the opportunity to be strong, responsive, integrated plan to best serve you – our members and families. 
 
The events of this last year have strengthened our commitment to our members, providers, and communities. We look forward to sharing our year in review when we release our Annual Impact Report in the days ahead. As we enter the holidays and welcome the new year, my hope is that it is a year of renewal – for all of us. 

Sincerely,
 
Trey Sutten
CEO, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare

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