Taking Action to Achieve Health Equity

Johnson Lightfoote, MD, MBA, FACR, Medical Director of the Department of Radiology at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, and Chair of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Commission for Women and Diversity, contributed this piece.

The World Health Organization defines health equity as, “The absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in health among population groups defined socially, demographically or geographically.” Though the medical and technological advances of the 21st century have increased our life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, these developments impact our society unequally. As our underserved and underrepresented communities continue to face health inequities, how can we take action to narrow the disparity gap and ultimately eliminate these challenges?

To take meaningful action, we must first be able to recognize health disparities in the communities we serve. I’m pleased to invite you to attend the National Medical Association’s 2021 National Colloquium on African American Health. The webinar series will be held March 18, 20 and 27, 2021, and will focus on clinical, policy and social determinants of health and their impact on individual opportunities to earn a good living, live and work in a safe and healthy environment, and effectively use available social services and healthcare resources to optimize and maximize healthcare and disease prevention. I hope you’ll attend the free program.

In addition, the ACR 2021 Annual Meeting will feature a two-part CME course featuring Leading the Way to Health Equity. Be sure to join us May 17 and 18, 2021, for actionable discussions by national thought leaders.

Another great resource is the Understanding and Pursuing Health Equity: Opportunities to Take Action webinar. Experts from the American Medical Association (AMA) and the ACR share insight on how radiologists can take action against racial, socio-economic and geographical barriers to ensure quality care for all members of their communities. The free recording is available online and eligible for 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.

Achieving health equity requires a collaborative effort of local, state and national leadership with the healthcare system. As radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists, we can make a difference — by taking action. I hope you’ll join me in the quest to achieve accessible, high-quality care for all.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

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