As part of Curi’s health equity initiative, Prof. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha of Tufts University School of Medicine on Feb. 25 addressed inequities in the U.S. healthcare system in the webinar titled, “How Addressing Racial Health Disparities Can Help Providers Improve Care Delivery.”
During this presentation, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha explored the ways in which racial health disparities make it especially difficult for people of color to gain access to quality healthcare. Providing education on and awareness of these key issues, she helped healthcare providers and practice leaders learn more about how recognizing and acknowledging the root causes of these inequities creates an opportunity to eliminate racial health disparities and improve patient outcomes.
Understanding and overcoming systemic inequities and implicit bias in healthcare
Dr. Amutah-Onukagha highlighted the fact that many hospitals and clinics that were once designated for minorities continue to be under-resourced and improperly staffed. Given that these facilities exist within predominantly minority communities, this creates inequities in access to and quality of healthcare, generating significant racial and ethnic health disparities. In addition, she provided historical context behind the lingering effects of racialized science and segregation, while sharing that although segregation and discrimination based on race are no longer legal, many healthcare organizations continue to discriminate based on issues that disproportionately affect people of color.
According to Dr. Amutah-Onukagha, healthcare providers and practice leaders can address systemic inequities and implicit bias by creating communities of opportunity, building more health into the delivery of medical care, improving training with race-conscious curriculum, and enhancing cultural representation. Some examples of how this is being done effectively include:
- Early childhood development initiatives
- Employment opportunities among youth and adults in low-income communities
- Renewed emphasis on prevention to improve overall health
- Greater focus on primary care over specialty care
- Educational training on racial inequities for healthcare workers and medical students
- Greater emphasis on racial and cultural diversity in medical professions and within medical schools
For more in-depth learning about this topic, please click below to view the webinar in its entirety or visit the new health equity resource page on our website.
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