Skip to contents
In This Issue:
BWH President Gary Gottlieb joined Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino in Roxbury last week to announce three reports including a citywide blueprint to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care.
“We began this project two years ago when we set out to discover how BWH and the city's other great health care institutions could move forward to confront the disturbing challenge of very real differences in health outcomes among people of different ethnic backgrounds and income levels,” said Gottlieb, who co-chairs the Mayor's Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Disparities with American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay CEO Deborah Jackson.
The disparities project tapped hundreds of health experts and community residents during the last two years. The “blueprint” consists of 12 comprehensive recommendations aimed at improving access to quality health care and effecting broad environmental and social changes that could be influential in mitigating health care disparities.
In the second of the three reports, the Hospital Working Group on Racial and Ethnic Disparities outlined specific recommendations on what hospitals can do to alleviate disparities. The recommendations cover all areas of hospital operations, including data collection and analysis, patient satisfaction, interpreter services, workforce diversity and board composition. Part of the funding for these initiatives is being provided by BWH.
Boston is an increasingly diverse city, with more than half the population made up of Asian, Black and Latino residents. The third report provides a comprehensive analysis detailing how these groups have higher rates of premature birth, obesity, diabetes and heart disease than Caucasians in Boston.
“I am proud to be the mayor of one of the most diverse cities in America, but in a city that is home to some of the world's top medical institutions, it is unacceptable that there can be such a divide in health based on race,” said Menino.
The reports including the full text of the Mayor's Task Force Blue-print and the Hospital Working Group on Racial and Ethnic Disparities recommendations are available online at www.bphc.org/disparities .