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RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGE
* Raise awareness of existing racial disparities
* Self-education about the inequities that vulnerable populations face
will enable us to identify and address our implicit bias, communicate
effectively with our patients of color, and provide reasonable and
attainable health goals. Examples of valuable resources that are worth
looking into include: How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks
About Being Sick in America11; Black Man in a White Coat12; Body
and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical
* I dentification of racial disparities relies on data collected from the
reports of information based on race, ethnicity, and language of the
patients. Health care centers may need to conduct a community
health needs assessment regularly to identify factors that influence
health outcomes, develop realistic strategies to meet said needs, and
publicize the successful and impactful interventions.
* Advocate and support policies that support vulnerable communities
* Examples include policies that improve access to education by
providing scholarships and job incentives to vulnerable children;
and invest in public transportation in low-income communities
to improve access to healthy foods, health care, and employment.
Also, policies that provide substance abuse programs14 are useful
in dropping crime and violence rates.
* S ome policies improve the health status and outcomes of vulnerable
populations directly, such as the Medicaid payment and delivery
models,15 which focus on funding a health community worker to
assess the community's needs and link target populations with
the appropriate health services. Additionally, support for services
that increase the number of accessible and low-cost health clinics,
such as 211.org16.
INCREASE DIVERSITY AMONG HEALTH CARE
Increase the diversity of healthcare professionals with a focus on
the recruitment and maintenance of people of color in the healthcare
profession. The admission requirements of health professional schools
should be reformed as the cost of preparations/attendance may deter
applicants with limited financial resources. Also, prevalent conditions
in minority populations must be represented in medical education
Racial and ethnic disparities that persist in our nation emerge from
the years of social segregation and discrimination against minorities.
This impact has taken the most significant toll on African Americans.
Mounting research shows evidence of racial gaps in health care and the
efforts to reduce these gaps as grossly insufficient. The recommendations
mentioned above aim to promote racial equity in the healthcare sector
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and beyond, including education, housing, employment, and safety.
As a stern reminder, racial equity advocacy should not be political, as
it is a critical human right and public health concern. If the effects of
structural racism remain overlooked, the consequences on the rising
population and the health system of our nation will be devastating.
1. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2018. Hyattsville, MD.
2. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2018-Data Finder.
3. State Population by Race, Ethnicity Data, 2017.https://www.governing.com/gov-data/
4. Gamble, Vanessa. Under the Shadow of Tuskegee: African Americans and Health
care. American Journal of Public Health. 1997. https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/
5. Tuskegee Study - Timeline - CDC - NCHHSTP. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 2 Mar. 2020, www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm.
6. Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Random House, 2010.
7. Holland, Brynn. The " Father of Modern Gynecology " performed Shocking Experiments on Slaves. History, 2018. https://www.history.com/news/
8. Carmicheal, Stokely. Black Power: African American-Politics and Government. Vintage Books, 1992. https://archive.org/details/blackpowerpoliti00carm_0/page/4/mode/2up
9. Gross, Terry. A " Forgotten History " of How The U.S. Government Segregated America.
NPR, 2017. https://www.npr.org/2017/05/03/526655831/a-forgotten-history-of-howthe-u-s-government-segregated-america
10. Jan, Tracy. Redlining was banned 50 years ago. It's Still Hurting Minorities
Today. The Washington Post, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/
11. Brawley, Otis Weeb. How We Do Harm. Macmillan, 2012.https://www.amazon.
12. Tweedy, Damon. Black Man in a White Coat. Picador, 2015. https://www.amazon.
13. Nelson, Alondra. Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against
Medical Discrimination. University of Minnesota, 2011. https://www.amazon.com/
14. Atchison, Noah. Community Organizations Have Important Role in Lowering Crime
Rates. Brennan Center, 2018. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/
15. Artiga, Samantha and Hinton, Elizabeth. Beyond Health Care: The Role
of Social Determinants in Promoting Health and Health Equity. KFF, 2018.
16. 211.org. https://www.211.org
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