On Thursday, September 14, Boston Medical Center Health System (BMCHS) will host EQTY 2023: A Summit for Health Justice, BMCHS’ inaugural conference focused on exploring the past, present, and future of health justice. The Summit, led by BMC’s Health Equity Accelerator, will convene an audience of hospital leaders, providers, community organizations and payers from across the country who are actively working toward advancing racial health equity nationally and in their own communities.
Closing the gap in health inequities has become a top goal for health organizations, but there is a great need to understand the underlying factors that drive health outcomes and collaborate on actionable solutions.
“The EQTY 2023 Summit is a unique opportunity to bring together top leaders in health equity to explore the roots of racial health inequities and act with intentionally to make lasting change,” said Thea James, MD, MPH, co-Executive Director of the Health Equity Accelerator and Vice President of Mission and Associate Chief Medical Officer at BMCHS. “People and organizations who are successful in this work will show others how, when you act thoughtfully to address those root causes, you can make a difference.”
Harriet Washington, an award-winning writer, editor and medical ethicist, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event. Washington, who authored Medical Apartheid, which won the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, as well as A Terrible Thing to Waste and Infectious Madness, among other books, focuses her work on deconstructing the politics surrounding medical issues.
The Summit also features an innovation spotlight with presentations from six individuals who will share cutting-edge innovations that target racial inequities in areas from economic mobility to cancer and behavioral health. In addition, four panel discussions will explore some of most pressing areas of ongoing health disparities:
- Pathway to Prosperity: Empower Black Economic Mobility – given by Anas El Turabi, MD, PhD, Partner, McKinsey & Company; Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion, City of Boston; Markita Morris-Louis, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, Compass Working Capital; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, PhD, Ford Foundation Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Tonya Murray, Vice President, Communications & Enterprise Engagement, TIAA
- Racism in Pregnancy: Practical Solutions from Health Equity Leaders – given by Allison Bryant, MD, MPH, Associate Chief Health Equity Officer at Mass General Brigham; Lilly Marcelin, MPP, Founder & Executive Director of Resilient Sisterhood Project; and Audra Meadows, MD, MPH, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vice Chair, Culture & Justice, UC San Diego Health
- Health Equity Foundations: The Community in the Driver's Seat – given by Uché Blackstock, MD, Founder & CEO of Advancing Health Equity; and LaShyra “Lash” Nolen, Dual-degree MD/MPP student at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Founding Executive Director of We Got Us
- Equity in Diabetes: An Action-Oriented Conversation – given by Osagie Ebekozien MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer at the T1D Exchange; Joshua Joseph, MD, MPH, FAHA, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; and Kathryn Fantasia, MD, MsC – Endocrinologist, Boston Medical Center Health System
In 2021 BMC, a longtime leader in health equity and clinical innovation, launched the Health Equity Accelerator, which works to identify the root causes of healthcare inequities and address them by implementing action plans that facilitate change. The Health Equity Accelerator focuses on five clinical areas where deep and persistent racial health disparities remain: pregnancy; cancer; infectious disease; chronic conditions; and behavioral health.
“Racial health equity among patients of different races and ethnicities has become a priority for many healthcare organizations, as well as for the country,” said Elena Mendez-Escobar, PhD, MBA, the co-Executive Director of the Health Equity Accelerator and Executive Director of Strategy at BMCHS. “In holding this Summit, we'll explore all the latest innovations in health equity from BMCHS and other national leaders. Our goal is to highlight concrete, actionable interventions that leaders can use to advance racial equity in their own health organizations and communities.”
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About Boston Medical Center Health System
Boston Medical Center Health System provides world-class care to all, with an emphasis on health equity, clinical and research excellence, and the treatment of complex conditions through a value based, coordinated continuum of care.
BMC Health System includes Boston Medical Center, with one million patient visits annually; WellSense Health Plan, a Medicaid managed care organization with 740,000 members in Massachusetts and New Hampshire; Boston University Medical Group, with 800 physicians, non-physician clinicians, educators and researchers across 18 clinical departments at BMC; Boston HealthNet, a network of 12 affiliated community health centers; Boston Accountable Care Organization; and Clearway Health, a pharmacy solutions company that helps third-party health systems build and expand specialty pharmacies.
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