From Steve Sunderland, PhD, Director, and Nemat Moussavian, MD, Medical Director, Robert Harris, DD, Cancer Justice Network
Dear Healthcare Leaders:
We want you to change your hospitals into “New Hospitals” of justice. Can you hear the voices of people who are dying because health care for people who are poor and minorities is so poor in our city. You must know the following:
* Minorities, seniors, people who are poor and with disabilities are dying in greater percentages from the COVID-19 virus than the rest of the population. CAN YOU HEAR US?
*People who are poor and live in certain city neighborhoods have 35 years less of life expectancy than other city neighborhoods. CAN YOU HEAR US?
*Seniors are in vulnerable health realities and have limited access to healthcare. CAN YOU HEAR US?
*People who are poor are more likely to die of cancer than any other population. Inadequate treatment and follow up have gone on without accountability. CAN YOU HEAR US?
*Infants continue to die at horrible high levels. CAN YOU HEAR US?
There is no program of outreach to work on these healthcare crisises from any hospital. Monies from the Hamilton County Indigent Care Levy have not been targeted to these problems. Politicians have not helped to reduce these health disparities.
What needs to be done by Healthcare Leadership? Create a “New Hospital.”
1. Each hospital needs an Equity Task Force that reports to the CEO on the programs and progress on these critical health care needs.
2. Each hospital needs an educational outreach program that partners with churches, community centers, senior centers, and school-based clinics with accountability for the numbers of people educated about critical health needs.
3. Each hospital needs a Community Based Navigator Program to insure the community that their health needs will be joined to community navigators that will accompany patients to the hospital.
4. Each hospital needs a free transportation process to assist patients in gaining access to timely treatments.
5. Each hospital needs training in being friendly, welcoming, and compassionate with patients and insuring that procedures to the hospital are clear, user friendly, and culturally sensitive.
Justice in healthcare can be provided if the above steps are implemented. The City’s high risk population no longer needs to be imprisoned by old notions of hospitals. Now is the time to listen, to review, and to act.
CAN YOU HEAR US?
Read about the latest progress we are making as a Cancer Justice Network.
We are uniting agencies and people that serve the poor and minorities in Cincinnati, Ohio to create a Cancer Justice Network. For more information, email :firstname.lastname@example.org