Orthopedic Surgeon Tamara Huff is an engaging surgeon in Waycross, GA. She is an ardent supporter of creating ways to engaging patients in their health care. Why are you committed to the Movement is life Caucus? I believe I can contribute and help the Hispanic and Latino Community to get health care and improve […]
Dr. Jannifer Harper is a board certified Internist and Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Anthem and shared with us her reasons why she is part of the Movement is Life Caucus and our efforts to fight health care disparities
Why are you committed to the Movement is life Caucus? I am committed to the Movement is Life Caucus because it is our future.
Why are fighting disparities important? To improve the health of our country’s population to in order to leave a healthier generation for our children.
What is one way to fight unconscious bias? You have to spend time with people who are different than you.
Since the caucus is about movement, can you tell us one thing you do in your health and wellness journey? I enjoy walking and using various fitness apps to track my food intake.
What is one health and wellness resource you value? I value relationships like the ones I have with my family.
The Hispanic American population in this country is growing; health disparities affect Hispanic Americans; and this group’s rate of overweight and obesity is growing at an alarming rate. Physical inactivity is greater among Hispanics when compared to that of other groups. This study featured in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health reviewed reports of physical activity interventions targeting the Hispanic American adult population across a four-year period.
Here are some key points found:
- Most of the interventions were community based while some were clinical, family-based, and faith-based.
- Barriers to physical activity often relate to time constraints and environmental access.
- The Hispanic Americans studied felt like they had little time for social interactions – which included physical activity – given the demands of home and family.
- Social support increased the likelihood of participation in physical activity, and an extra benefit was the friendships formed during the physical activity intervention.
- Important factors in the success of the interventions included each individual’s sense of commitment, his or her self-efficacy, and a strong sense of group identity.
- Activities that included staff from the same ethnic group of the population being studied reported improved recruitment.
- We need legislative policies that increase Hispanic Americans’ access to physical activity opportunities.
If you are African-American or Hispanic, will that make a difference in which hospital you choose when you need a hospital? Do you believe that equality of treatment should be considered as a factor in what makes a hospital excellent? Dr. Louis W. Sullivan and Dr. Augustus A. White, III, suggest that if U.S. News and World Report were to include equality of treatment as a factor in their ranking of the best hospitals, then more hospitals would become sensitive to the problem of unequal care. This in turn could improve healthcare delivery to minority and underserved populations. And, a ranking of hospitals based on equality of service might guide you in selecting the hospital where you feel you will receive the best treatment. Read more of the article, published in CNN Opinion, here.
Has America become a “postracial” society? Virtual Mentor, The American Medical Association Journal of Ethics asks, is a “postracial” society achievable—or even desirable? As our understanding of race and ethnicity evolves, doctors must learn from the past and remain alert to the ways in which they may be harming or failing patients today. Read the full article here.
If you’re a woman, African American, or Latino, you are likely receiving lower quality healthcare than Caucasian males. Causes for disparities—also known as injustices—in care include conscious or unconscious bias from your doctor, stereotyping, racism, or sexism. While these are complex issues not easily overcome, you can take control as a patient to combat some of these disparities in order to receive better care.
Dr. Augustus A. White III recently published Some Advice for Minorities and Women on the Receiving End of Health-care Disparities. This article outlines 15 steps women and minorities can take to improve the odds of getting better care.
Below are the top 10 highlights from Dr. White. You can download the entire article here. Some Advice for Minorities and Women on the Receiving End of Health-care Disparities.
- Know your rights. As a patient you have the right to good care. The U.S. Constitution and other legislation guarantee it. Learn more about your rights here: www.nationalhealthcouncil.org/.
- Always answer questions about race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation when filling out forms. Hospitals and clinics collect and use this data to help provide better care.
- Don’t ignore the Patient Satisfaction Survey. If you did not receive adequate care, make it known. If a hospital or clinic doesn’t know you are unsatisfied, they cannot make any changes.
- Become health literate. Study your symptoms at www.webmd.com or www.mayoclinic.com before your visit. This will help you talk with your doctor and ask better questions.
- Ask questions. Write down questions before your visit if you can. If you are uncertain about anything your doctor says during your visit, ask questions.
- Repeat back what your doctor has said. Restating to your doctor in your own words is a good way to determine if you fully understand your condition.
- Be frank. If you feel during your visit that you are not receiving good care, tell your doctor. It’s your right to receive excellent care; speak up if you experience anything less.
- Make a connection. Ask your doctor about his or her children or grandchildren, or ask about the weather. Establishing a personal, human connection with your doctor can result in better care.
- Bring a friend. If you need help or emotional support, bring a friend or family member who can help discuss your medical needs.
- Report incidents to management. If you experience unsatisfactory care, report it formally to someone with the authority to do something about it.