6 min read

Ensuring Health Equity for LGBTQ Patients Across Generations

By Megan Bedford on 9/15/21 1:30 PM

LGBTQ Health Equity

The United States has a long history of anti-LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) bias that has negatively impacted LGBTQ health and healthcare. Although social acceptance of the LGBTQ community continues to improve, historical elements of discrimination have left an imprint on our healthcare system, including how LGBTQ individuals experience and interact with it. In our quest for greater equity, we must examine this history, and respond with substantial changes to our policies and practices. This includes cultural competency education for healthcare workers to ensure they are prepared to engage with confidence and respect.

Topics: health equity cultural competency lgbtq
6 min read

Delta & Communities of Color [Event Recap]

By Megan Bedford on 8/12/21 3:45 PM

This content is based on a live web event with Dr. Joseph Betancourt held on August 5, 2021. Watch the video here.

The Delta Variant is Driving a New Surge of Covid Infections

Just as the US emerged from the depths of the pandemic, carried by the strength of the Covid-19 vaccines, the Delta variant has caused a new wave of infections across the country. One month ago, 19% of Americans lived in areas with high or substantial community transmission of Covid. Today, 98% of us do.

Topics: covid-19
4 min read

Black Maternal Health Week and Beyond

By Megan Bedford on 4/16/21 1:38 PM

Change requires everyday awareness

Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) is an annual campaign, founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, that takes place every year between April 11-17. April is National Minority Health Month in the U.S., intending to advance health equity for racial and ethnic minorities. BMHW specifically aims to raise awareness of the stark disparities in maternal health. This year, for the first time, the White House issued an official proclamation establishing BMHW and calling on all Americans to raise awareness of the state of Black maternal health in the U.S. But to make a meaningful difference for Black mothers and babies and close the gaps in care and outcomes, we must make the commitment year-round.

Topics: unconscious bias maternal mortality
3 min read

Ensuring Equity in Virtual Healthcare [Event Recap]

By Megan Bedford on 11/13/20 1:17 PM

What is virtual care?

As healthcare organizations look for ways to increase value, reduce costs, and improve access to services, the industry has begun to embrace digital technologies, including video, audio, mobile apps, and text messaging. 

Topics: health equity cultural competency covid-19 virtual care
3 min read

The Pandemic's Impact on Mental Health [Event Recap]

By Megan Bedford on 10/21/20 4:30 PM

Mental Health Disparities and Covid-19

As the country absorbs the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, we face a bereavement crisis borne disproportionately by minority communities. New data show that in 2020, deaths among non-Hispanic white people have been 11.9% higher than average. In contrast, the increases have been much more severe in the Latinx community (53.6% higher), the Asian community (36.6% higher), the Black community (32.9% higher), and in American Indians and Alaskan Natives (28.9% higher). These death rates correlate with racial and ethnic disparities in the incidence of Covid-19 and reflect the disproportionate burden experienced by communities of color. 

Topics: mental health health disparities covid-19
4 min read

Cross-Cultural Communication in Unprecedented Times

By Megan Bedford on 7/9/20 2:00 PM


A Call to Action for Healthcare Providers

During June of 2020, Quality Interactions held a weekly live webcast series of conversations on how to provide culturally-competent healthcare amid the Covid-19 pandemic and social unrest due to racial injustice. Led by Dr. Joseph Betancourt, and moderated by Michele Courton Brown, these candid discussions drew on Dr. Betancourt's experience leading the pandemic response at Massachusetts General Hospital and his longtime leadership in the fight against racial and ethnic healthcare disparities.

Topics: cross-cultural education covid-19
2 min read

We Stand United Against Racial Injustice in Healthcare

By Michele Courton Brown on 6/10/20 10:01 AM

Statement on Racial Injustice from Quality Interactions

Our country is in a pivotal moment. Against the backdrop of a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted communities of color at staggering rates, tens of thousands of Americans in all fifty states are protesting to demand an end to racial injustice and police brutality. We can no longer turn away from the reality of racism and racial inequality in America. 

Topics: Company News
5 min read

News Media Call on Dr. Betancourt to Illuminate COVID-19 Disparities

By Megan Bedford on 4/16/20 7:46 PM

Top media outlets, including NPR and CNN, have turned to Quality Interactions Co-Founder, Dr. Joseph Betancourt, to better report on the critical issue of health disparities and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Even in the absence of adequate race and ethnicity data, a clear picture of disparities in COVID-19's impact has nonetheless emerged: Black and Latino communities are the hardest hit. This is not due to features of the virus itself, but is an indicator of social conditions—including population density and socioeconomic status—which put black and Latino individuals at higher risk for contracting and perishing from the respiratory illness.

 

Dr. Betancourt is on the front lines of the epidemic at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he serves as Vice President and Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, as well as a primary care physician. As a leading expert in health equity, Dr. Betancourt has been named to the City of Boston COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force, alongside Quality Interactions CEO, Michele Courton Brown.

 

This summary of Dr. Betancourt's recent interviews provides a primer on how COVID-19 has created a perfect storm for communities of color and offers direction for how municipalities and institutions should apply immediate efforts to stem the tide.

 

Topics: health equity health disparities covid-19
4 min read

Cultural Competency and COVID-19 [Infographic]

By Alexander Green, MD, MPH on 4/13/20 10:51 AM

Cross-cultural communication during a health crisis


The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable among us. This includes the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. It also includes communities of color, immigrant communities, low-income workers, and the prison population.

 

As more data emerges that show how social inequities are fueling the pandemic in the United States, it is clear that cultural competency and bias awareness in healthcare is more important than ever.

The healthcare system in many states is overwhelmed by cases of COVID-19 and struggling to secure the resources it needs to safely and effectively treat patients. It may seem like too much to ask for physicians and caregivers to be mindful of cross-cultural communication issues and unconscious bias in such hectic conditions.

 

But this is precisely the time when skills in cultural competency are most needed. The Three Tenets of Cross-Cultural Communication presented below are a helpful touchstone for all of us to keep in mind as we move forward in our professional interactions—whether they be in the most critical care settings or in other roles no doubt touched by our current reality. They may seem like simple recommendations, but there are concrete ways clinicians can actively exhibit them for maximum effect. They are empathy, curiosity, and respect.

Topics: Cross-cultural issues cultural competency covid-19
1 min read

From Social Determinants to Drivers of Health [Video]

By Megan Bedford on 11/19/19 12:41 PM

Social Drivers with Dr. Betancourt

A model for value-based healthcare

As healthcare moves toward a value-based system that rewards positive outcomes over procedures, social determinants of health (SDOH) are a central part of the effort to improve overall health and reduce health disparities.

Topics: social determinants of health

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