Eliminating disparities in care is the “next frontier” in the transformation of America’s health care, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial today told AHA members, commending the association “for developing concrete steps to guide each and every one of you in the work you do in our communities.” He said social determinants of health – such as educational and job opportunities, exposure to crime and violence, and poverty – affect health outcomes and the health care system “in a very dramatic way.” Addressing these socioeconomic factors “requires new thinking and new types of collaboration,” he said. “Your future impact depends on your extending far beyond the four walls of a traditional hospital system…and partnering with others to confront the social issues that many communities face.” He said “the AHA can lead the way and the AHA must lead the way.” He told hospital leaders “your voice is highly respected...and if it is your voice that is leading the conversation [about health equity] your voice will be listened to.” The National Urban League has endorsed the AHA’s #123forEquity Pledge to Eliminate Health Care Disparities.
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Often quietly and out of the public eye, the vital work of advancing health in America happens on many fronts.