To battle racism, experts say make health equity a central principle

June 6, 2020

Modern Healthcare

Clear policies and strong enforcement are crucial for creating a culture of zero tolerance for racial bias and discrimination against patients or staff, said Dr. Aisha Terry, associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and an American College of Emergency Physicians board member.

“It’s vital to create official policies that speak to the selective opinions of an organization,” she said. “But a policy or statement without subsequent action is a disservice to the topic and the organization’s capacity to ignite change.”

Organizations should factor health equity into all their decisions, much like the “health-in-all-policies” approach that public health advocates have lobbied governments to use in developing public policy, Terry and LeRoy said.

“For organizations, there must be a theme threaded throughout every aspect of its mission that addresses health equity,” Terry said. “Whether it be related to leadership, membership, quality initiatives, health information technology cor even education … there should be some representation of health equity.”

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