Compared with whites, members of racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive preventive health services and often receive lower-quality care. They also have worse health outcomes for certain conditions. To combat these disparities, advocates say health care professionals must explicitly acknowledge that race and racism factor into health care. This issue of Transforming Care offers examples of health systems that are making efforts to identify implicit bias and structural racism in their organizations, and developing customized approaches to engaging and supporting patients to ameliorate their effects.
Aza Nedhari, M.S., is executive director and cofounder of Mamatoto Village, a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit that trains and deploys community health workers to support women through pregnancy, childbirth, and the first months of parenting. Nearly 90 percent of Mamatoto Village’s clients are African-American women, who have dramatically worse maternal health outcomes than other women, including higher death rates and more complications during pregnancy and postpartum. Wespoke with Nedhari about her efforts to address what she sees as the root causes of these disparities.
Select publications from the professional literature focus on bundled payments for chronic conditions, the savings achieved by accountable care organizations serving vulnerable patients, the impact of expanding Medicaid on substance abuse treatment, and more.