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“Health equity: Making the journey from buzzword to reality”

Modern Healthcare John W. Daniels

Below is an excerpt:

"The reality of COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities has made health disparities in the U.S. impossible to ignore. This isn’t the first time. These communities faced an undue burden during the H1N1 flu pandemic and even the 1918 flu pandemic.

What’s more, researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity have grappled with these issues for years—and yet seemingly intractable problems remain.

Social determinants of health—factors such as socio-economic status, living environment, education and employment—are responsible for up to 90% of health outcomes. We know that systemic racism has resulted in less educational achievement, higher rates of poverty and inadequate housing among African Americans. These inequalities, often spanning generations, directly cause higher rates of preventable disease and shorter life expectancies."

...

Advocate Aurora and other systems have committed to reaching beyond traditional healthcare boundaries to address social determinants of health.

We have invested in care managers who help patients receive the proper follow-up care to manage chronic diseases. These managers screen patients for food, housing and transportation security. When necessary, they “prescribe” nonmedical resources, such as our own Healthy Living Food Farmacy which offers free fruits and vegetables. NowPow, a mobile messaging and referral platform, helps us connect patients with its database of thousands of such services.

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