In a recent interview with Asha Scielzo, director of the Health Law and Policy Program at American University Washington College of Law, ChangeLab Solutions’ CEO Sarah de Guia discussed the intersection between structural discrimination and health inequities. The conversation explored innovative legal strategies for health systems, providers, and policymakers to improve community health outcomes.
“There’s a momentum that has been created because of COVID, and health care institutions and systems play an extremely important role in helping to move that momentum forward.”
In the live session, which took place during Health Law Week 2022, de Guia said, “Now is the time to talk about health inequity — specifically the role that structural discrimination and racism have played in limiting equity, and the role that they can play in addressing it.” She elaborated further that the COVID-19 pandemic made race-related injustices visible for institutions and policymakers who had previously been blind to it. “There’s a momentum that has been created because of COVID, and health care institutions and systems play an extremely important role in helping to move that momentum forward.”
In the conversation, de Guia and Scielzo discussed the importance of using law and policy to create systemic change, how the drivers of health inequity manifest in specific systems, and the power of community-driven solutions. Importantly, they concluded their discussion with four steps that public health practitioners can take to improve community health outcomes.
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