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Health Equity in Action Summit 2022 Recap: Themes Emerge for Addressing Systemic Racism in Healthcare

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Among underserved communities across the U.S., the intrinsic right to good health is challenged daily. It’s no secret that barriers to healthcare have persisted for decades. Lack of access to quality care and cultural sensitivity is part of the problem. Social determinants such as lack of transportation, food deserts, and financial instability also have a negative impact. And, as the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated, existing health inequities and a flawed healthcare system can intensify in a crisis, directly and disproportionately impacting life outcomes for underserved communities.

On Oct. 27, 2022, the first-ever Health Equity in Action Summit —exploring Optimal Interventions to Systemic Drivers of Racial Health Inequities—took place online and in-person, convened by Pfizer’s Multicultural Health Equity Collective (“The Collective”), along with partners The Century Foundation, the National Minority Quality Forum, the National Association of City and County Health Officials, and Morehouse School of Medicine.

The Summit gathered leaders from across the healthcare sector, including health policy, academic research, healthcare delivery, and more to identify innovative solutions to address critical gaps in equitable healthcare and reduce barriers to quality care.

Designed to challenge conventional thinking, the Summit highlighted the need and opportunities to disrupt inequitable health systems and make better health possible for all. 

Through engaged discussion with approximately 100 health equity leaders, several key themes emerged as areas for action:

 

Embedding health equity in everything we do

“Health equity needs to be embedded into all aspect of how a healthcare organization functions.”  
Dr. Uché Blackstock, Advancing Health Equity

 

Intentionally drive policies that reduce health inequity

“There’s a big elephant  in the room that we’re not talking about, and that is the political determinants of health.”
Kenneth Romero, National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators

 

Working with the community as an equitable partner

“My takeaway is the importance of looking beyond ourselves, looking to our communities and forming truly equal partnerships with the community.”
Dr. Walter Conwell, Morehouse School of Medicine

 

Bridging sectors to implement solutions

“We have to start acting now. These are practical solutions that everyone can actually put into practice today.”
Nisha Pasupuleti, JD, CommonSpirit Health

 

The Summit inspired participants to identify strategies that keep community needs at the forefront and deliver tailored, actionable solutions by players across the healthcare ecosystem. A forthcoming discussion paper will further explore these approaches for broader use. 

The Collective has been working with nearly 40 partners to address health inequity. Learn more about their work at Pfizer.com/TheCollective. 


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