AHA Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Jay Bhatt, D.O., yesterday participated in a panel on building a sustainable healthy community as part of the National Minority Quality Forum’s annual conference on health disparities. The panelists called health disparities an ongoing, vexing problem, which will require people, communities and health care providers to come together to discuss the challenges, find new ways to reduce disparities and achieve positive health outcomes. Bhatt cited the growing volume of evidence that one’s health is not only influenced by genetics and other biological characteristics, but also by a variety of social, economic and environmental factors. He also shared examples of how hospitals and health systems are working with their communities to build a culture of health, as well as how AHA is supporting those efforts. “America’s hospitals and health systems are leading transformation in their communities,” Bhatt said. “They are innovating in a number of ways to extend care beyond their walls to meet their mission and improve the health of patients, families and communities.”

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