Coalition-driven RI Life Index begins surveying Rhode Islanders about health and well-being for third annual RI Life Index

 Coalition-driven RI Life Index begins surveying Rhode Islanders about health and well-being for third annual RI Life Index
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2021 survey continues to target issues related to health inequities in BIPOC communities after 2020 survey starkly highlighted that Black and Latinx Rhode Islanders perceive greater challenges in their pursuit of health and well-being

PROVIDENCE, RI (March 31, 2021) – Beginning April 5, Rhode Islanders will be asked at random to participate in the RI Life Index via telephone survey. The perception-based survey is informed by the RI Life Index Coalition, a group of 12 community and statewide organizations working, through an equity lens, to address social needs and improve health. New this year, the survey will be conducted in partnership with several local nonprofits to reach more participants in certain demographics. The goal is to reach people who speak a language other than English at home. And, as was the case in 2020, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) will be oversampled.

In 2019, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) created the RI Life Index in partnership with the Brown University School of Public Health as a way to better understand ways in which life factors are perceived to impact health outcomes and overall well-being. Survey results from the first two years have informed BCBSRI’s community investments and philanthropy.

Every year, the Index pays special attention to a particular demographic group in our state. Last year, well before the pandemic hit, the Coalition recommended that we focus more on the impact of social determinants on Black and Latinx Rhode Islanders.

“The 2020 survey results reinforced that Rhode Island residents are keenly aware of the enormous and devastating impacts that systemic racism and inequity in economic stability and access to housing have on the ability to enjoy good health and well-being in our state, said Michele Lederberg, BCBSRI interim president and CEO. “Blue Cross has prioritized our philanthropy to address critical housing needs with more than one million dollars granted, but this is only the beginning.

The 2021 survey will extend outreach into hard-to-reach communities, offering us additional insights into the life factors perceived as barriers to comprehensive health and well-being.” Among the 2021 question topics are affordable housing, economic mobility, food access/food security, discrimination and micro-aggression, collective efficacy, access to technology and access to medical care.

The 2020 findings catalyzed BCBSRI’s 2021 BlueAngel Community Health Grants to organizations addressing critical housing needs for Rhode Islanders for the second year in a row, and also motivated the RI Life Index Coalition to reach participants in communities where English is not spoken at home by partnering with local nonprofits. The survey will be conducted in partnership with community-based partners and will leverage the nonprofits’ existing relationships to include the most participants possible. In addition to a random digit dial survey, data collection will be conducted through computer-assisted personal interviewing focused on people who speak languages other than English at home.

RI Life Index Coalition member organizations include: BCBSRIUnited Way of Rhode Islandthe Rhode Island Department of HealthRhode Island Community Food BankBrown University School of Public HealthHousingWorks RIRhode Island Kids CountAge-Friendly Rhode IslandThe Economic Progress InstituteRhode Island FoundationLifespan Community Health Institute and Medical Legal Partnership Boston.

Siena College Research Institute will once again conduct the survey. Results are expected to be released in fall 2021. For more information on the RI Life Index, the RI Life Index Coalition, and frequently asked questions, please visit

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