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News Roundup | Week of May 25, 2018

5/25/18 3:41 PM

QI News Roundup 5-25
In this week's News Roundup:
  • Health Equity Bill Introduced in Congress
  • Medical Schools Must Do More to Combat Racism
  • Experiment with Barbershop Clinics is Succeeding

Health Equity Bill Introduced in Congress

The Congressional Tri-Caucus, made up of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2018 (HEAA), a bill that attempts to address health disparities based on race and ethnicity. The authors note several reasons for these disparities, including language and cultural barriers to care.

From the article:

In order to address the multiple factors that impact our health, HEAA reaches into all pockets of the community by proposing programs to make sure our health care workforce reflects the diverse communities it serves. It ensures that real and significant investments are made to combat conditions, like HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis, that take an untold burden on communities of color. The bill would ensure that all Americans, regardless of immigration status, can feel safe seeing a doctor and knowing they have reliable coverage for their family. It would also make the necessary investments in sexual and reproductive health care for all.

Health Equity Bill Offers Blueprint for Nation at Time of Attacks on Coverage and Public Health, from The Hill


Medical Schools Must Do More to Combat Racism

The student-led organization White Coats for Black Lives released a report reviewing the efforts to end racism at 10 medical schools, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Yale. None of the institutions received above a B-.

From the article:

The report card assessed 15 metrics, including discrimination policies, use of adequate anti-racism training in curriculum, proportional representation of students based on U.S demographics, support of underrepresented groups on campus, immigration policy, and employee compensation and benefits....

The report is ambitious and thorough in its efforts to address a comprehensive list of issues that continue to lead to race-based health disparities. Now that we have a report card, we can start to ask ourselves and our institutions specific questions: Why aren't we achieving what we want to? Are we actively working to change a broken system, or are we making only minimal efforts in a pretense of progress?

Report: Med Schools Can Do More To Combat Racism, from AAFP


Experiment with Barbershop Clinics is Succeeding

Aaron Perry had an idea to fight health disparities among black men by incorporating healthcare into barber shops, and it's working. Now his organization, Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association, has a $300,000 grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program to expand his program to more barbershops. 

From the article:

Perry started a health center in the backroom of JP Hair Design to help teach the barbershop customers, who are mostly African-American men, about topics like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Along with an array of informational pamphlets, visitors can get blood pressure checks, oral health and body mass index screenings.

The idea for the clinic came from Perry's own visits to the shop, where he heard men talk about their health issues like gout and tooth pain. But afterward, "they would pay for their haircut, and they're gone," he said.

"I'm thinking, men do actually talk about their health challenges, but we have to be better prepared as a community to respond to those," he said.

Clients build up trust with their barbers, said Jeff "JP" Patterson, owner of JP Hair Design.
"We've got to watch what we say because they take our word as law," he said. "It gives us a responsibility to help (with) education."

Fighting Health Disparities at the Barbershop, from U.S. News & World Report

Watch Aaron Perry on Megyn Kelly Today:

News Roundup is on vacation next week. See you in June!
Megan Bedford

Written by Megan Bedford

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