Reaching Health Equity - Richelle Webb Dixon

Social determinants of health have created systemic inequalities that result in structural disparities in healthcare. Richelle Webb Dixon, a healthcare equality champion and compassionate leader, shares her insights on how to reach equity in health and what factors may cause such inequities.

“When we talk about health equity people think it’s a far-off goal, but it needs to be our reality today. Recognizing that individuals are accessing healthcare differently, or may not access it at all, is crucial. Leaders need to leave the four walls of their organization and identify what is needed from within a community.

“The overall goal should be that everyone who seeks care, gets what they need from us, without bias. Healthcare needs to be viewed holistically — there are numerous social determinants at play. Does one have transportation to get to a doctor’s appointment? Are they able to pay for the visit and for the follow-up perscriptions and aftercare? When they go back home, do they have the required infrastructure to care for themselves? Do they even have a place called home? Do they have access to nutritious food and clean water? There is so much packed into being equitable when it comes to healthcare, that we have to break it down and tackle each aspect.

“To actually implement and reach equity, we need to take many aspects into account. Public service announcements, housing, education, and healthcare partnerships, and so on. It is all about being intentional and tackling the external factors. We don’t individually have all the answers to solve healthcare inequity, but all together, it’s something we can, and are able to strive to overcome.”

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