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Cross-Cultural Communication in Unprecedented Times

7/9/20 2:00 PM

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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.

Designed to bring healthcare professionals together and create a shared learning experience to improve the delivery of healthcare during Covid and beyond, this series presents a dialogue that is honest, emotional, and insightful.

The series was focused around four topics relevant to the moment: Race & Racism, Implicit Bias, Mistrust in Healthcare, and Reopening & Recovery. Watch highlights from each session below.

You can also watch the entire series and sign up to be invited to future webcasts.

Part 1: Race & Racism

This conversation took place on June 4, less than two weeks after George Floyd's death, and at the height of mass protests against police brutality and racial injustice. Dr. Betancourt predicts the healthcare industry has a two-week window to seize the moment and create lasting change. Here are his thoughts on what we can do in our workplaces to provide a better experience for people of all races:

Watch Part 1 from the beginning.

Part 2: Implicit Bias

During the second week in June, many organizations moved to provide racial justice training for their staff to address the structural racism that underlies our institutions—in everything from policy-making to reporting processes. Dr. Betancourt argues that implicit/unconscious bias training is just as important, and explains why "racism training" and implicit bias training go hand-in-hand:

Watch Part 2 from the beginning.

Part 3: Mistrust in Healthcare

Mistrust of the healthcare system is relatively high in the U.S. across all races, but is especially high in communities of color. Dr. Betancourt discusses how the pandemic has potentially exacerbated patient mistrust and how he has tried to build trust among patients at Mass General:

Watch Part 3 from the beginning.

Part 4: Reopening & Recovery

In the last session of our live series, Dr. Betancourt, who helped direct Mass General's Covid response as Massachusetts saw its caseload surge and then abate, gives advice to his fellow healthcare professionals in regions where the virus is currently surging, such as California, Texas, and Arizona:

Watch Part 4 from the beginning.

Join the Conversation

Sign up to be notified of future events featuring Dr. Betancourt and other leading experts in cultural competency, healthcare disparities, and more. 

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Megan Bedford

Written by Megan Bedford

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