Gratitude Moments – Jill Miller 2022

( 4:08 )

Reaching Beyond Hospital Walls to Reduce Health Disparities
Miller, Jill
Bethesda, Inc.


Do you know that on average, Black infants die at two times the rate of White infants in the United States? Do you know that place, race, and class shape how well, and how long, people live?

Health disparities are differences in health status among segments of the population such as by race or ethnicity, education, income, or disability status. Addressing health disparities is imperative to improving health outcomes for ALL people. But clinical care only accounts for about 20 percent of a person’s health equation. Other factors including social and economic policies, systems, and processes all influence how people live, learn, work, and play—and all have a tremendous impact on health. Measures, e.g. infant mortality, indicate the overall health of a community.

How can you be part of the solution? How can healthcare systems tackle persistent health disparities?

You can start by actively listening to your patients and being aware of their life struggles, culture, and environment that impact their health. You can put your patients at the center of your care model and surround and connect them with the supports they need to achieve better health and well-being.

To drive innovation and create sustainable change, health systems must better connect to their communities and the people in them by partnering and collaborating with organizations—breaking down the silos between clinical care and social service delivery. Collectively, we must listen to those with lived experience and engage them in creating new solutions to solve old problems.

During this presentation, you will discover how one community came together – across sectors and competitive healthcare systems – to develop a new model of care to reduce the disparity between Black and White infant mortality. Successes and lessons learned will inspire and challenge you and your community to create, pilot, implement, scale, and sustain new solutions to work towards a day when all people – no matter place, race, and class – have equal opportunity to achieve their highest level of health and well-being.