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Dr Shantanu Agrawal Highlights Progress Being Made to Address Health Inequities

Addressing health disparities and social determinants of health can be daunting, but there has been a lot of progress, said Shantanu Agrawal, MD, MPhil, CEO and president of National Quality Forum.

Addressing health disparities and social determinants of health can be daunting, but there has been a lot of progress, said Shantanu Agrawal, MD, MPhil, CEO and president of National Quality Forum.


What progress have you seen in better addressing disparities and social determinants of health?

I think the great news is that there is a lot of progress. This can be a topic that can seem really daunting to clinicians to communities and clearly it’s a challenge that we have to rise to but the fantastic news is that there are clearly communities and delivery systems that are working hard in the area and actually making progress.

If you look across the country you can see delivery systems, working on transportation and security, working on primary care, on food and security, trying to remedy those things directly for citizens and patients to work directly by partnering with their local community and government. There’s actually quite a bit of that activity.

One of the lessons learned from our work is despite all the activity, we are really bad at disseminating that information and knowing what each other is doing. A basic activity that might all engage in is sharing that information sharing what practices are, what scientifically rigorous practices are on dealing with health inequities. So that we are all kind of driving towards the same goal together. But there’s a lot of great work to build on which remains the happy and optimistic news.

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