Addressing Minority Health Challenges in Ohio
Task Force Releases Blueprint of Priorities
Early in the coronavirus pandemic, it was clear that its impact was disproportionately impacting minorities and minority communities throughout Ohio and the U.S. COVID-19 exposed disparities that have existed for years, but have yet to be comprehensively addressed by the healthcare delivery system.
To begin to further address these challenges, Governor DeWine appointed a COVID-19 Ohio Minority Health Strike Force—where OSMA President, Anthony Armstrong, M.D., was appointed as a member. The Strike Force met throughout the late spring and summer and issued its final report earlier this month.
This Blueprint highlights a variety of issues, challenges and areas of future focus. Specifically, when looking within the traditional healthcare delivery system and public health, the Blueprint made two major recommendations to:
- Reduce discrimination and increase diversity in the health workforce.
- Increase access to health care.
As a follow-up to his work on the Strike Force, Dr. Armstrong will be leading OSMA’s efforts to work with representatives from other organizations in creating actionable steps to address these recommendations. Specifically, OSMA hopes to focus on the environments in both inpatient facilities and community health provider offices. Within each setting, changes need to be made in how medical resources and supplies are allocated—as well as how personnel are recruited, trained and promoted.
As an example, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center just released a study in Health Affairs (Making Anti-Racism A Core Value In Academic Medicine), which reviews its new anti-racism action plan that details four key pillars and specific actionable steps towards change within the institution.
OSMA is looking forward to providing more specifics on this critical work in the months ahead. If you are interested in working with Dr. Armstrong on this initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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