Addressing the Challenge of Health Disparities: Long Term Approach — Allison Young

Allison Young

The ongoing COVID pandemic has shown us the intrinsic racial bias in the healthcare industry that has been prevalent for a long time. Today’s perspective builds on part 1 of 3 articles I have written that discuss some of the challenges facing healthcare in America. In part 2 below, I provide an approach to address the issue of Trust and the role it plays in seeking and accepting medical care. I will further elaborate on a popular approach used by the NFL for developing talent from diverse communities.

There are long- and short-term ways to address the inherent racial bias. Although there are now requirements for some level of cultural competency by physicians, this requirement is too broad — it includes gender, Non-American culture, sexual orientation as well as race in a single course. Respect for the humanity of all must start with elementary school and continue as a part of ongoing medical education. In addition, a concerted effort should be made engender greater trust by increasing the number of African American physicians. This has been a longstanding challenge because elementary and high schools in African American communities are often sub-standard since education spending is generally tied to property taxes, leaving low-income communities with fewer resources for challenged students. This lack of resources often translates into fewer labs and technological aids for these students.

However, professional sports leagues have found a way to have the most intelligent, strongest, fastest, well trained athletes in the world. These athletes come from the same challenged communities but excel at very sophisticated sports, moreover, many have second careers as sports commentators, broadcasters and news anchors.

The NFL has a model for developing world class athletes. If we adopt the same approach to developing world class physicians who are incentivized to practice in the same communities they come form, medicine would have a significantly more diverse pool of talented and prepared young men and women.

Here is a quick summary of the approach.

Although it is a long-term model that will take years to yield results, it has been proven extremely efficient in the sporting industry and could be a promising approach for the health care industry as well.

Allison Young is a CEO with strategic acumen and excellent leadership skills who specializes in the healthcare industry. She is a results-oriented executive who utilizes a creative approach as a problem solver, developing innovative solutions to overcome challenges. She also has a strong background as an IT expert, having used her creative approach to improve methodologies and support clients in unique ways. Her diverse background has enabled her to become a dynamic leader today, and she is seeking new opportunities to serve on corporate boards to engage in strategy development focused on leadership and her other expertise.

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