As we discussed earlier this month, the American Public Health Association (APHA) is currently in the middle of a four-part series of webinars, The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation. Today, APHA’s third webinar, Unequal Treatment: Disparities in Access, Quality and Care, covered a variety of topics, including inequities in access to care for low-income communities and communities of color, the role of implicit biases in health disparities, and the impact of historical trauma on health.
The event featured an impressive lineup of speakers, including Brian Smedley from the National Collaborative for Health Equity, Michelle van Ryn from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and Linda Rae Murray from the University of Illinois School of Public Health. The presentations showed that while we have come a long way in regards to expanding coverage, access issues prevent many in low-income areas and communities of color from getting the best possible care. Also, racism and other biases result in additional barriers to care for these populations.
At CPEHN, we see racism as one of the leading social determinants of health and in order to achieve health equity it will be necessary to eliminate the barriers racism poses as communities of color strive to live healthy lives. We appreciate APHA’s efforts to further this important discussion with events like today’s webinar.
Here are some highlights from the event, which was recorded and will be available to stream on APHA’s website.
Smedley pointed to the disparities that remain despite the coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act, particularly in low-income communities.
This year, CPEHN has joined the DentaQuest Foundation’s Oral Health 2020 initiative to focus on addressing oral health inequities using a social justice lens. Through this effort, we are working to highlight the oral health needs of California’s communities of color in an effort to reduce disparities in health outcomes and access to care.
Since we are new to this oral health effort, we are always eager to learn about new ways to advocate for oral health equity. Next week, on August 12th at 11 am, DentaQuest Foundation is hosting a webinar, Effective Advocacy for Oral Health, which will provide some insights into what health advocates can do to improve oral health in their communities. The event will feature speakers from Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin and will illustrate how we can be stronger advocates for system change.
The webinar will cover advocacy basics and feature real-life examples of successful efforts. From DentaQuest Foundation’s description of the event:
It is important to recognize that decision-makers like politicians make decisions in part based on their perceptions of public demand. Successful advocacy is therefore all about getting your message across in the most effective way to ensure that politicians and governments know what matters to you and the people in your community. Individuals and groups like you have the power to drive systems change!