As pride month nears its end and being we are a healthcare marketing agency, we would be remiss not to weigh in on the topic of health equity.
We hear about it everywhere
The narrative is that health equity has been around for a long time. According to the NCBI, the first published article on “health equality” appeared in 1966, although research shows this topic was studied as far back as 1801.
1966 isn’t that long ago for the phrase to be socialized. Thus, we hear terminology being used interchangeably like health equity, health inequality, and health disparity … then we layer in social determinants of health (SDOH) and we have ourselves a new ecosystem to be understood and untangled.
This is a public health crisis that needs to be solved
The good news is the topic is getting a lot of attention and clinicians, patient advocacy groups, and payers are weighing in. You can’t attend a tradeshow, listen to a healthcare podcast, or read a newsletter without seeing a mention of health equity:
- NPR’s SciFriday recently hosted a segment on how race is used in medicine and discussed the inherent bias that exists that “race doesn’t tell you how someone’s body works,” yet it “often gets confused with biology.”
- Heart.org’s recent article addresses how “cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of maternal death in the U.S. Simply put, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms.” And it primarily impacts the Hispanic and Latinx communities.
While the above examples focus on race, it is essential to stop and recognize that bias in healthcare goes beyond race. Disparities also exist at the cross-section of gender identity and sexual orientation.
- Cigna Health outlines some of the health disparities faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals. Everything from behaviors and health outcomes to access to care are inequities this minority group face.
- Kaiser Family Foundation published a report detailing low healthcare utilization due to poor experiences with providers, among other disparities directly impacting the LGBTQIA+ community.
Working alongside trailblazing clients doing something about it
Our clients subscribe to the idea of keeping health equity conversations moving, but let’s start doing something about it, too—because actions speak louder than words.
We are lucky to work with clients that want to make an impact in society with various solutions, services, and technology that include educating clinicians and rebuilding patient trust in health systems.
Ultimately, a culture of inclusion means that at the point of care, everyone—from all backgrounds—can realize optimal health outcomes.