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National Health Observances Raise Health Equity Awareness

National Health Observances Raise Health Equity Awareness

Awareness is the first step to acting on health equity issues

February is National Cancer Prevention Awareness Month. It’s also American Heart Month. In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups. Cancer mortality is highest among Black Americans, affecting about 227 persons per 100,000.

As we look to generate awareness around these important observances, it’s important to consider the implications for persons experiencing care disparities in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these and other chronic illnesses. The COVID-19 endemic has further exacerbated inequities experienced by non-Whites facing health issues.

Addressing care disparities is central to improving quality of care and outcomes

I recently discussed some core health equity themes with colleagues at RTI International, a global non-profit institute committed to improving the human condition. I explained how our work at RTI Health Advance (a business operation of Research Triangle Institute) helps commercial providers implement practical, targeted interventions designed to reach and benefit the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people. We also consult with payers and health plans to design models adjusted for SDoH.

By recognizing important relevant health observances that occur this and almost every month of the year, and by championing initiatives to minimize underlying health and social inequities that put many persons in ethnic and racial groups at higher risk, we can collectively cast light on social determinants of health leading to disparities in care to ultimately build a more equitable healthcare system for all.

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