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News for Faculty and Staff

October 2, 2014

U-M health equity and inclusion group sparks national dialogue

March 24, 2014

U-M health equity and inclusion group sparks national dialogue

Equity and inclusion are basic human values, important to most people in many cultures. A group of physicians, other health care providers, communicators, students and researchers at U-M have joined together to catalyze a national conversation on health care equity and how it can be attained across all segments of U.S. society and the globe.

+ join the conversation

• Starting March 25, log in to www.healthyconversation.org.

• Visit the UMHS Facebook page.

• "Like" the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion Facebook page.

• Start your own conversations through Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

• Tweet #talkhealthequity on Twitter.

• Connect with friends, family and co-workers and host an equity and inclusion conversation.

• Complete a campaign card, available throughout UMHS, health science schools.

Spurred by evidence of inequities and disparities in health care driven by social, racial, ethnic, gender, economic and even geographic status, the U-M Health System's Office for Health Equity and Inclusion is launching a three-month campaign "Talk Health Care Equity" on Tuesday to engage people across the United States.

This conversation will take place in many venues including the Web, face-to-face, via social media, in policy arenas, in classrooms and in the media.

"In order to develop policies and procedures and to provide care that is patient centered, appropriate, respectful and compassionate for everyone, we must first understand the roadblocks to health care equity from the patient's perspective. Only then can we take action," says Dr. Carmen R. Green, associate vice president and associate dean for health equity and inclusion at UMHS.

But health inequities exist. They can be found in differences in lifespan, quality of life, rates of disease, disability and death, severity of disease and access to treatment. Poverty, for example, has long been associated with poor health outcomes. Health inequities exist for those who are affluent as well.

"No matter who a person loves, where people live, what they believe or what they look like, all citizens deserve access to the right care in the right place at the right time in an environment that is inclusive and welcoming. This campaign is a chance to be engaged, to join voices in an important conversation that affects us all," says Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, executive vice president of medical affairs for U-M.

OHEI staffers will begin distributing cards on Tuesday across the U-M medical campus and health science schools for anyone interested in providing an eight-word impression of the phrase "health care equity."

Participation is not limited by geography or physical access, though. People can connect about health care equity by participating at www.healthyconversation.org through June 30. The website will accept submissions in English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Korean and Russian. Those who wish to increase the dialogue on Twitter are encouraged to use the hashtag #talkhealthequity.

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