Improving health and wellness in diverse communities


This Member Spotlight is an excerpt from our recent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Study 2021, which is available to members. If you’re not a member and you’re interested in receiving more research-driven insights and practical tools for corporate citizenship professionals, inquire about our corporate membership.

The driving force at Tufts Health Plan is to improve the health and wellness of the diverse communities it serves. The company recognizes the changing demographics of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island—the states where it serves members. “Diversity and inclusion are core elements of everything we do. These values are woven into our vision, mission, and corporate strategy,” says Thomas A. Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan.

To live its mission, Tufts Health Plan established an enterprisewide Business Diversity program in 2015 to strengthen and enhance clinical programs and the member experience, especially for diverse populations. The program reports to Croswell with strong engagement by senior management and the board of directors.

Every part of the company is held to clear diversity goals. Metrics provide accountability and are widely shared. Innovations serving Medicaid members include a doula program and ConsejoSano (Healthy Counsel), which helps diverse members navigate the health system. A policy to increase representation in leadership requires candidates of color be interviewed for all manager and above positions. Anti-racism trainings are mandatory for all leaders and employees. To date, nearly 100% have participated in cultural competence courses covering topics from unconscious bias to creating a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ individuals. Committed to economic inclusion, Tufts Health Plan has spent $80-plus million with businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans, people with disabilities and those in the LGBTQ+ community. Tufts Health Plan’s Business Resource Groups enjoy 25 percent participation—900 employees. They are Mosaic (Multicultural), Women Together, Prism (LGBTQ+), Parallel (Disabilities), and Veterans.

To reach beyond the company’s walls, Tufts Health Plan endowed Tufts Health Plan Foundation, which invests in community organizations working to improve healthy living with an emphasis on older people. The Foundation has given more than $45 million to programs that move cities and towns toward age-friendly policies and practices that are equitable, relevant, and include older people in the process.

In 2020, Tufts Health Plan Foundation increased funding to organizations working on economic health, coronavirus relief and racial justice. Early in the pandemic, the Foundation pledged $1 million above its annual grantmaking to coronavirus response. Another $900,000 in COVID-19 grants was announced last month. To date, 114 organizations have received funding to address urgent needs. The Foundation also supported research to identify solutions that worked in communities disproportionately affected by the virus.

“This pandemic continues to expose stark health disparities in communities of color,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president for corporate citizenship at Tufts Health Plan. “Additional support ensures communities have resources to respond to current needs and prepare for long-term recovery.”

Additionally, the Foundation pledged $1 million to support the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund, the Latino Legacy Fund, and the Asian Community Fund at the Boston Foundation. This funding allocated by leaders of color to communities of color will address health care and other disparities resulting from systemic racism. To engage employees and its boards—both company and foundation, the Foundation offered a double match for donations to nonprofits affected by and/or addressing the pandemic, economic insecurity, and racial justice. Nearly $400,000 went to community organizations through this program. Special focus was given to Black-led, Black-benefitting nonprofits on Give 8/28 Day.

Evident from its vigorous and evolving diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, Tufts Health Plan is living its values and acting on them—to improve health and wellness, among employees and the vibrant communities the company serves.

Looking to start taking action on diversity, equity, and inclusion in your company?

Download our new report, generously sponsored by Howmet Aerospace: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Study 2021 (full report, members only) 

Executive Summary (free for everyone)

If you’re not a member and you’re interested in receiving more research-driven insights and practical tools for corporate citizenship professionals, inquire about our corporate membership.