Boston Medical Center Health System Announces Health Equity Accelerator

Nov. 17, 2021
Boston Medical Center Health System has announced the creation of a new Health Equity Accelerator that will focus on closing healthcare gaps for individuals of different races and ethnicities

On Nov. 16, Boston Medical Center Health System (BMCHS) announced it has created a new Health Equity Accelerator to focus on closing the deepest, most pervasive healthcare gaps among people of different races and ethnicities.

The release states that “The heath system-wide initiative, the result of more than a year of research and development, brings together leading-edge research methodologies, patient insights and community partnerships, and clinical operations, to transform healthcare. The Accelerator will also be a vehicle to exchange ideas and insights within the wider medical community through publishing and policy conversations.”

Further, “The Health Equity Accelerator will be led by two Executive Directors with long standing commitments and expertise in patient equity: Thea James, M.D., vice president of mission and associate chief medical officer at Boston Medical Center (BMC), and Elena Mendez-Escobar, Ph.D., executive director of strategy at BMCHS.”

“The Health Equity Accelerator was made possible through seed funding from two of BMC’s longstanding and dedicated corporate sponsors: John Hancock and the MassMutual Foundation,” the release continues.

That said, “For generations, there have been tremendous differences in health outcomes among people of different races and ethnicities in the U.S. and Boston. For instance, in Boston, Black men are 2.6 times more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men, Black and Hispanic babies have death rates 4.1 percent and 3.4 percent higher, respectively, than non-Hispanic white babies, and COVID cases were 1.5 times higher in Black communities and 2.2 times higher in Hispanic and Latinx communities than in white communities.”

According to the release, the Accelerator is going to focus on five core areas:

  1. Maternal and child health
  2. Infectious diseases
  3. Behavioral health
  4. Chronic conditions
  5. Oncology and end-stage renal disease

Kate Walsh, president and CEO of BMCHS was quoted in the release saying that “For more than a century, equity has been central to the mission of Boston Medical Center, whether it was establishing the nation’s first preventative food pantry or advocating and investing in affordable housing. The disparities that the COVID pandemic revealed and worsened in our patient population, as well as our nation’s long overdue reckoning on race, led us to look deeply at ourselves and the role of healthcare in equity. The launch of the Health Equity Accelerator is a transformative moment for our health system.”

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