Diversity and Disparities Overview

The Catholic Health Association and the Catholic health care ministry are committed to the importance of diversity — both in the workforce and in meeting the needs of diverse patients.

A Health Progress Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Discussion Guide

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SSM Health
Men's Health and Education Center

Video Conversation: Lloyd H. Dean and Caretha Coleman on Social Justice and Health Disparities



A Reflection for National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11

Recommended for January 11

Call to Prayer
As we begin our prayer, let us call to mind and bear in our hearts the estimated 30 million children, women and men who are trafficked today and every day. Pray with me in hope for their freedom and justice in the words of the Psalmist:

Group Reading
Psalm 10: 1-2, 12-13, 14, 17, 18 NRSVCE

Side One: Why, OLord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In arrogance, the wicked persecute the poor —
let them be caught in the schemes they have devised!
Side Two: Rise up, OLord; O God, lift up your hand;do not forget the oppressed.
Why do the wicked renounce God,
and say in their hearts, "You will not call us to account"?
Side One: But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,
that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you;
you have been the helper of the orphan.
Side Two: OLord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
so that those from earth may strike terror no more.

Reflection from Pope Francis

Declaration on International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, Dec. 2, 2014

Every human being, man, woman, boy and girl, is made in God's image. God is the love and freedom that is given in interpersonal relationships, and every human being is a free person destined to live for the good of others in equality and fraternity.

Any discriminatory relationship that does not respect the fundamental conviction that others are equal is a crime, and frequently an aberrant crime.

Therefore, we declare on each and every one of our creeds that modern slavery, in terms of human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution, and organ trafficking, is a crime against humanity. Its victims are from all walks of life, but are most frequently among the poorest and most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.

On behalf of all of them, our communities of faith are called to reject, without exception, any systematic deprivation of individual freedom for the purposes of personal or commercial exploitation; in their name, we make this declaration."

For those exploited and objectified by the commercial sex industry,
    Rise up, O Lord, set them free.

For those forced to become soldiers, for the children made into the tools of violence,
    Rise up, O Lord, set them free.

For those forced to labor out of sight in factories, mines, farm fields and private homes across the world,
    Rise up, O Lord, set them free.

For the traffickers, pimps and slaveholders who perpetuate the system of indignity and degradation,
     Change their hearts, move them to justice.

For governments, corporations and consumers that turn a blind eye to human trafficking,
    Change their hearts, move them to justice.

For us, that we may examine how we perpetuate human slavery and what we can do to end it,
    Change our hearts, move us to justice.

Communal Prayer
God of freedom, you create each of us as a temple of your Spirit, a beloved child made in your image, clothed in dignity and value. You came among us to bring good news to the poor, restore sight to the blind, justice to the oppressed and freedom to the captive.

Send us as you sent Moses to bring liberty to the slaves.
Send us as you sent Isaiah to speak justice to the evildoer.

Send us as you came Yourself to be light for dark places.
Send us as your disciples to build the kingdom of God here and now.  

Be with the children, women and men who are abused and exploited by human trafficking. Strengthen us to work on their behalf, to care for those who are victims and to help them rebuild lives of dignity and justice. Amen.

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A new CDC report on maternal mortality found significant racial disparities, with African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native women 3 times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as white women. To learn more about maternal mortality, read the report and visit the CDC’s Vital Statistics webpage.

CMS Office of Minority Health Report
(April 25, 2017) In recognition of National Minority Health Month, the CMS Office of Minority Health has released a data highlight that – for the first time ever – examines Marketplace enrollment activity by racial and ethnic subgroup, as well as spoken and written language preference. 

Structural Racism and Health
A Collection of resources from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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What’s Killing Our Children? Child and Infant Mortality among American Indians and Alaska Natives
By Teshia G. Arambula Solomon, Felina M. Cordova, and Francisco Garcia
The very vulnerable demographic group of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) youth face unique and important challenges. The authors of a new paper from the National Academy of Medicine use the lens of infant and childhood mortality as a tool to recognize opportunities for action that could have an impact on this perhaps most critical indicator of the health of this population. The authors extract some lessons from the lived experiences of too many reservation and urban Indian communities and turn these tragic stories into useful tools for broader policy and health system change.
Read the article

Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks – National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks, derived from the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, which summarizes trends in health care disparities by race related to access, Heckler Report priorities, and National Quality Strategy priorities. Key findings include increases in suicide and mental health disparities, improvements in access to care since the Affordable Care Act, and poorer quality of care related to person-centeredness and care coordination.
Download the free report and slide deck
Guide to Preventing Readmissions Among Racially & Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries
As part of the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare, CMS OMH, in collaboration with the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and NORC at the University of Chicago, produced a Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries. This Guide is designed to equip hospital leaders, as well as QIN-QIOs and HENs, with guidance for addressing avoidable readmissions in this population. The Guide provides a set of action-oriented recommendations, as well as case examples of initiatives that may be applied to reduce readmissions in diverse populations.
Download the Guide

A Practitioner's Guide for Advancing Health Equity: Community Strategies for Preventing Chronic Disease
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new Health Guide resource. The opening section discusses practices and principles for incorporating health equity goals into organizations’ activities. While the focus of the document is public health and community organizations, it provides great ideas and examples that are useful across settings.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to and Utilization of Care among Insured Adults
The Kaiser Family Foundation has a new issue brief out looking at the extent to which people of color may continue to experience disparities in access to and utilization of care even after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. The brief examines differences in access to and utilization of care for Black and Hispanic adults compared to white adults among those who are uninsured, enrolled in Medicaid, and privately insured, using data from the 2014 Kaiser Survey of Low-Income Americans.

Other Articles

Equity of Care - Culturally Competent Care
Sr. Carol Keehan, DC
Reprinted with permission of Health Administration Press from Journal of Healthcare Management, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 250-252. Copyright 2013.

Lack of Diversity in Medical Research Is Bad for Your Health (National Journal)
Low participation of minority populations in clinical trials can lead to development of medicines that are dangerous for the people using them.