Reframing Healthcare: A Racial Justice Lens


Health care, no matter how comprehensive, only impacts 10-20% of modifiable contributors to healthy outcomes. The other 80-90% are influenced by social determinants of health or health-related behaviors and socioeconomic and environmental factors.

Pcmh congress sept2019 hca final

Our poster, Reframing Healthcare: A Racial Justice Lens intends to address institutional and structural racism, how it impacts the health of communities, and how we can work to address it in practices.

The United States has a history of enacting policies to uphold systemic racism—so it’s critical that we do what we can to counteract the long-term impact these polices have on the health and well-being of communities of color.

One example of such policies is called “redlining”—federal housing policies enacted after the Depression to ensure people of color were kept out of suburban communities where resources were invested.

Redlining pushed communities of color into overcrowded, under resourced urban housing projects. Housing projects are still neglected by landlords and city officials resulting in structures and neighborhoods without maintenance, limited access to healthy food, or green space in which to walk and enjoy. These kinds of conditions inevitably have an impact on the health of the residents who live there, landing people in the doctors office.

While we continually reconcile a history of racial inequity and its impact on health outcomes there are steps we can take to counteract this history.

One action includes building cross-sector partnerships between community members, health care providers and systems, environmental planners, educators, and policy makers. Additionally, embedding Community Health workers or “navigators” who reflect the population of people served into practices can be another way to make sure patients receive the care they need in and out of the doctor’s office.

We’ve made strides in some areas, but there’s still so much work to do. We can help: contact us for more information on adding these practices to your organization.



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