Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The following are intended to provide information and assistance to your CQI as you develop health equity goals and deliverables for CY 2023 in partnership with MSHIELD.


The MSHIELD CQI (Michigan Social Health Interventions to Eliminate Disparities) is a partnering CQI that aims to promote health equity and help achieve optimal health outcomes for all patients. One of MSHIELD’s primary goals is to be a partner to all existing CQIs to help each CQI achieve their quality improvement goals in a way that advances health equity.

For CY 2023, CQI Administration and BCBSM ask that all CQIs develop goals that advance health equity in their patient populations. There are three ways that your coordinating center can work with the MSHIELD team. All CQIs are asked to complete #1 and build deliverables for either #2 or #3 in CY23:

Required for all CQIs:

1) Identify a Health Equity Champion.

Grow your coordinating center’s knowledge on health equity and identify opportunities to incorporate a health equity approach into your work by identifying an existing full time staff member to serve as your coordinating center’s Health Equity Champion.

Additionally, choose one of the following options:

2) Build your Health Equity Dashboard.

Synthesize sociodemographic data and stratified analyses of patient health outcomes into a health equity dashboard or report that allows your CQI to regularly consider how outcomes may differ for important sub-populations of patients.

3) Connect patients in need to community resources.

Implement focused screening for unmet social health needs in 1 member hospital or clinic and work with MSHIELD to connect patients with identified unmet needs to relevant community resources.

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are intended to provide information and assistance to your CQI as you develop health equity goals and deliverables for CY 2023 in partnership with MSHIELD.

For additional information or support, please contact the MSHIELD team.

General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does MSHIELD have a process for addressing specific questions from CQIs?

The MSHIELD team is available to consult and answer questions as needed. The MSHIELD team is offering optional “office hours” for you to meet directly with MSHIELD staff and discuss questions. You can sign up for office hours using this link. Additionally, the MSHIELD Best Practices Guide may be helpful to your team. If you have other questions, the MSHIELD team is available by email at

What are the expectations for my CQI?

CQI Administration and BCBSM request that all CQIs complete option #1 and build deliverables for either option #2 or #3 above in CY 2023. Partnership with MSHIELD will look different for each CQI; final decisions regarding the nature of the partnership lies with the CQI Program Director/Program Manager. More details are outlined in the memo sent to all CQIs.

What if my CQI already has goals and plans related to health equity?

Progress toward developing and implementing health equity goals will be different for each CQI; the MSHIELD team is available to review and provide feedback on your CQI’s existing work related to health equity, social determinants of health, and approach to addressing health disparities.

Where can I find best practices to guide our work?

The MSHIELD team developed a best practice guide for evaluating social determinants of health, which can be found here.

Will these deliverables require extra work for our staff?

That depends! CQIs can make decisions regarding the nature of their partnership with MSHIELD in ways that best fit your capacity and workflow. The options outlined above are intentionally designed to be flexible, meet each CQI where they are, and develop health equity goals that meet your needs.

I have a question that is not listed on this page. How can I get help?

If you have any questions about the memo or MSHIELD’s work, please contact or call (734) 615-2629.

FAQ for Deliverable #1, “Identify a Health Equity Champion”

Who is eligible to be our coordinating center’s Health Equity Champion?

Any existing full time staff member (including Program Managers) who can commit to regular attendance at MSHIELD workshops can be the Health Equity Champion for your CQI.

What will the Health Equity Champion be responsible for?

This key staff member will need to attend regular workshops led by MSHIELD next year and act as the liaison between MSHIELD and your CQI. By the end of next year, the Health Equity Champion will be able to provide presentations and materials that will describe social determinants of health (SDOH) in the context of your CQI’s specialty, identify opportunities and challenges in integrating health equity into your approach, and propose next steps for you and your member sites to address health inequities.

FAQ for Deliverable #2, “Build Your Health Equity Dashboard”

Does my CQI need to build a Health Equity Dashboard by the end of CY 2023?

No, the goal is to move your CQI one step to the right along the continuum (figure below) by first exploring your current data to see what sociodemographic data are already available.

Is MSHIELD available to consult on research questions or data analyses?

Yes, the MSHIELD team can meet with you to discuss all the options listed above, including research, evaluation, and data analyses. MSHIELD has expertise in working with data involving social determinants of health and health disparities and has also developed strong ties with community partners who have been engaged in this work for years.

Can MSHIELD help us identify area-level measures of social determinants of health?

Yes, the MSHIELD team can help guide you on what data are available and appropriate to your quality improvement goals.

FAQ for Deliverable #3, “Connect Patients in Need to Community Resources”

What is the typical process for screening and identifying patients with unmet social needs?

MSHIELD developed an implementation plan to guide this process which can be found here. The plan outlines expectations for each partner, the timeline, and key steps in the implementation process.

How will MSHIELD support us throughout this process?

MSHIELD will provide support and can advise you at each step of the following process (see figure below), with the goal of working with 1 member hospital or clinic to move your CQI one step to the right in the following path by the end of CY23. MSHIELD has developed strong ties with community partners who have been engaged in this work for years. The MSHIELD team has expertise in connecting CQIs and community partners to assess and connect patients for social health needs.

What relationships does MSHIELD have with community partners?

The MSHIELD team has developed relationships with community partners in the following regions of the state: Kent, Genesee, Jackson, Washtenaw/Livingston counties. Additionally, MSHIELD plans to expand partnerships in Northern Michigan, Detroit, and other regions over the next year.