Megan Bedford

Megan Bedford

Megan Bedford is Vice President of Content & Marketing for Quality Interactions.

Recent posts by Megan Bedford

3 min read

Ensuring Equity in Virtual Healthcare [Webcast 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 [Webcast 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
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
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
2 min read

Quality Interactions Selected as ACAP Preferred Vendor | Company News

By Megan Bedford on 8/22/19 10:31 AM


Quality Interactions’ pioneering cultural competency education is ACAP’s choice to reduce unconscious bias and improve customer experience for member organizations.

We are pleased to announce that Quality Interactions was selected as a Preferred Vendor by the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP)

ACAP is a national trade association representing not-for-profit Safety Net Health Plans. ACAP’s goal is to support and strengthen Safety Net Health Plans as they work with communities and providers to improve the health of vulnerable populations. ACAP members represent over 50 percent of individuals enrolled in Medicaid-based programs. The Preferred Vendor Program connects ACAP members with vendors who are optimized to meet their unique needs. 

Topics: unconscious bias cultural competency Company News
2 min read

6 Culturally Sensitive Ways to Approach Mental Health

By Megan Bedford on 6/13/19 11:49 AM

How culture affects mental health

Culture impacts every mental health patient—and every mental health practitioner. Culture is a key factor that we all bring to every interaction, and it can be especially influential in times of emotional distress. Culture, including beliefs, values, norms, and behaviors, affects how we experience and interpret the world, including the meaning we impart to mental illness. In a clinical setting, cultural meanings of mental illness can account for whether and how a patient:

Topics: mental health cultural competency patient experience
5 min read

Cultural Competency and Value-Based Care

By Megan Bedford on 8/1/18 8:44 AM

 

The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country. Yet we struggle with healthcare access and quality, and our overall population is less healthy than other developed nations. One possible solution to this problem is value-based care. This article provides an overview of value-based care models and shows how cultural competency training is essential for doctors and healthcare organizations to provide high-value care for patients. 

Topics: cultural competency value-based care
3 min read

News Roundup | Week of June 15, 2018

By Megan Bedford on 6/15/18 4:02 PM

Why Being Black in America is Bad for Your Health

After more than a year of in-depth reporting in Baltimore, The Atlantic has published a long read that explores why, as a group, black Americans are significantly less healthy than white Americans. The piece follows a woman named Kairra, who is 27, black, very overweight, and suffers from a host of health problems that are usually associated with people three times her age. In Baltimore, as well as other segregated cities like Chicago and Philadelphia, the low-income, mostly black neighborhoods have a life expectancy that is 20 years lower than more affluent, whiter neighborhoods. The gap can be attributed to several factors, including violence, diet, environmental hazards, substance abuse, and stress.

Topics: health disparities News Roundup cultural competency maternal mortality
2 min read

Best Practices for Working with Medical Interpreters

By Megan Bedford on 6/14/18 9:44 AM

Address the patient, speak clearly, avoid jargon, and check for comprehension

If you’re a healthcare provider who works with some of the 25 million limited English proficient (LEP) patients in the U.S., you know how important interpretation is to successful patient outcomes. Poor communication increases the chance of medical errors with any patient, and LEP individuals are especially vulnerable in this regard.

Topics: Cross-cultural issues Language & literacy Language barriers Interpreters health equity

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