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We Ask Because We Care campaign launches

We ask

Kicking off Yale New Haven Health’s We Ask Because We Care campaign are (l-r): project sponsors Louis H. Hart III, MD, medical director of health equity, YNHHS, and assistant professor of pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine; Darcey Cobbs-Lomax, executive director, Office of Health Equity & Community Impact; and Thomas Balcezak, MD, YNHHS executive vice president and chief clinical officer. 


Yale New Haven Health is committed to improving the equity, quality and safety of patient care, which is why we recently launched the enterprise-wide We Ask Because We Care campaign.

“It is critically important for us to understand who our patients are, to address the root causes of health inequities and to measure our impact and success at closing health equity gaps,” said Thomas Balcezak, MD, YNHHS executive vice president and chief clinical officer, and associate clinical professor, internal medicine, Yale School of Medicine. “This initiative is part of an overall effort to improve race and ethnicity data collection.”

The campaign focuses on training, education and community feedback related to how we can improve our collection of demographics for our patients. As patients come to YNHHS for care, they will be asked to confirm their race, ethnicity and ethnic background, along with their preferred spoken and written language.

“The demographic information collected is voluntary, private and kept in the medical record,” said Darcey Cobbs-Lomax, executive director, Office of Health Equity & Community Impact. “The data will be used to ensure we are providing health care that does not vary in quality or safety because of personal characteristics such as race or ethnicity.”

Training is under way. YNHHS staff in the call center and patient services areas are learning how to ask these demographic questions in a respectful and completely confidential manner. Self-identification is the gold standard for reporting race, ethnicity and preferred language information.  Patients also will have the option to share this information via MyChart, if they prefer.  

“Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible,” said Dr. Balcezak. “The initiatives wrapped into We Ask Because We Care enhance every patient’s right to respectful, dignified, high-quality and safe health care.”

With the campaign launch, posters and other materials will serve as a reminder of the questions that patients and employees can expect. Learn more about the We Ask Because We Care campaign.