Health Equity Taking Center Stage
Among other things, COVID-19 has highlighted serious inequities in our healthcare system. The pandemic has had a disproportionately harder impact on lower-income communities and communities of color, which too often don’t have good access to quality affordable healthcare. The Bay Area Council Healthcare Committee met this week (Aug. 13) addressed these disparities and how to solve them in a discussion with California Health Care Foundation CEO Dr. Sandra Hernandez and Sutter Health Chief Medical Officer Stephen Lockhart. Hernandez and Lockhart discussed the many aspects of health equity, including the lack of paid sick leave for low-income workers, birth inequities and maternal health challenges for Black and Latinx populations. Sutter Health has been heavily focused on these issues through its health equity initiative, and Kaiser Permanente recently announced a $60 million joint investment and $40 million in grants to address systemic racism and the lack of economic opportunity which have prevented communities of color from achieving total health.
The committee began to identify areas where the Bay Area Council can make an impact in the health equity space, so stay tuned in the coming weeks and months as the Council activates some of these ideas and potential areas for advancing health equity in our region. To engage in the Council’s healthcare policy work, please contact Research Director Patrick Kallerman.