340B Insight Podcast
Episode Twenty-One: Pursuing Health Equity: Part Two
February 22, 2021
This week we continue our two-part series focused on how 340B hospitals are pursuing health equity. In our recently released Health Equity Report, 340B Health profiled nine hospitals working to eliminate health disparities in their communities. Today, we continue sharing the stories of three hospitals from that report. For this episode, we are broadcasting from our virtual booth in the exhibit hall at the 340B Coalition Winter Conference that started Feb. 16 and will run through Feb. 24.
After we recorded this episode, a federal judge granted the government’s motion to dismiss a joint lawsuit that 340B Health and other plaintiffs had filed over drug company refusals to offer 340B pricing on drugs dispensed at community pharmacies. Read our statement about the decision, and we will provide additional analysis of the decision in upcoming episodes.
We sit down this week with health equity leaders from each of the three hospitals: Rukiya Curvey Johnson, director of community health and engagement at Rush University System for Health in Chicago; Dr. Cheryl Clark, director of health equity, research and intervention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Center for Community Health and Health Equity in Boston; and Greta Todd, executive director of diversity inclusion and community affairs at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. (Transcript)
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- How Data Collection Identifies Disparities Rush implemented a data-driven approach to identify health disparities within Chicago communities. Curvey Johnson explains how Rush uses assessments and metrics to determine priorities and progression of strategies. Dr. Clark shares how data were critical for Brigham and Women's Hospital in addressing disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic. Data informed the hospital more about the diversity within their community. To ensure culturally appropriate conversations, they purchased technology that enabled providers to communicate with patients in their preferred languages.
- Setting Measurable Goals Supported with Data With the use of timely data, 340B hospitals are setting goals relevant to their communities. Rush uses their data to help reduce the life expectancy gap in specific Chicago neighborhoods by focusing on education, access to care, and resources for managing chronic disease. Todd explains how St. Louis Children’s Hospital used data from employee engagement surveys to create a safe, inclusive environment for Black nurses in the hospital workforce.
- Learning Cultural Competency One way St. Louis Children’s Hospital pursues health equity is with cultural competency training for the hospital workforce, including senior leadership. Todd believes that cultural competency can help providers better understand and communicate with patients of diverse backgrounds. Todd shares stories of how unconscious bias can affect care for patients of color and the important role the hospital supply chain has in addressing disparities.
- Collaboration and Courage Is Necessary to Overcome Health Equity Challenges Curvey Johnson explains that pursuing health equity is hard work and must involve senior leadership. Collaboration with local and national organizations also is crucial for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Dr. Clark says providers need to collect more data to better understand the needs of people with disabilities as well as individuals with different sexual orientations and gender identities. Todd recommends that those working to pursue health equity ground themselves in the data that support this mission to demonstrate to stakeholders why it is critical to eliminate disparities.
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