Striving for anti-racism in health care: Putting ideas into action

Oct. 10, 2022 / By Melissa Clarke, MD

Inside Angle Podcast: 3M Health Information Systems
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It has been almost 20 years since the 2003 Institute of Medicine report, “Unequal Treatment, Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care,” which documents the evidence that race and ethnicity remain significant predictors of the quality of health care received by people of color. In addition, the 2011 Johns Hopkins study by Thomas LaVeist and team, estimated that more than $7 billion a year in direct medical expenditures occur as a result of persistence of health disparities for people of color. It is therefore evidence that an economic argument exists for health care systems to address inequities in health care delivery, especially under a value-based care framework. 

As a result, concepts of health equity, structural bias and anti-racism have worked their way into health care system conversations. However, challenges remain to developing and implementing comprehensive plans to address these issues at an institutional level. So that’s why when I heard our 3M Inside Angle podcast guest for today speak at a conference last spring, I knew that she would be the ideal person to speak to how her institution, RWJBarnabas Health, has moved beyond just dialogue to action on addressing health equity within the walls of the health system. 

In this episode, I speak with DeAnna Minus-Vincent, executive vice president, chief social justice and accountability officer at RWJBarnabas Health System, where she leads its efforts to become an anti-racist organization. In addition, she oversees the Health Beyond the Hospital initiative, the first end-to-end universally applied, fully integrated social determinants of health initiative. It seeks to create efficiencies for providers while streamlining the delivery of services for patients in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. 

Listen to the episode to hear more about her work. 

Melissa E. Clarke, MD, CMQ, is senior medical director, health care transformation and health equity, at 3M Health Information Systems.