Dr Kirk Campbell Discusses Mount Sinai’s Educational Research, Clinical Initiatives on Health Equity


Kirk Campbell, MD, FASN, Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, spoke on educational initiatives implemented by Mount Sinai to train resident physicians, medical students, and senior faculty on health equity, as well as further research efforts to address disparities.

Mount Sinai Health System in New York started an Institute for Health Equity Research in 2020, which is helping provide evidence-based educational research and clinical initiatives to medical students and resident physicians on clinical practices centered on community engagement, cross-cultural communication, and avoiding the use of stigmatizing language, said Kirk Campbell, MD, FASN, Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System in New York.


What initiatives have Mount Sinai implemented over the past few years to address health inequities and disparities for the populations they serve, and how are new resident doctors being educated/trained on these practices?

Mount Sinai developed a roadmap to address racism and really empowered a task force that developed an 11-point plan that was quite ambitious to tackle disparities, again, from the workforce to the provider and patient. And key to this is, again, empowering leaders as well as folks within our hospital and medical school community to be fully engaged.

So, there's an equity scorecard, for example, that will guide a lot of these efforts going forward. There’s a strategy around integrating the clinical practices to make sure that we're delivering the same quality and standard of care across different practice sites throughout the health system. It’s a strong component of community engagement and Mount Sinai has had a great track record of including community board members in a lot of policymaking that clearly are reflected in the point of care of clinical delivery.

Some of the financial and business strategies, and the partners who provide support services for the health system—that's been reformed and continues to be reformed over time. And of course, educational environments for medical students, graduate students, and trainees has been a big part of the strategy. Medical students and health staff are often a lot more enlightened than senior faculty in considering health disparities or health equity as a priority.

But we want to ensure and have implemented a number of cross-cultural communication activities and formal workshops during residency training. We want to make sure that our providers are avoiding the use of stigmatizing language, for example, and that's really important in the era of transparency where patients have full access now to their medical records, as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. And importantly, Mount Sinai in 2020 started an Institute for Health Equity Research, which is really driving a lot of the educational research and clinical initiatives, again, from that data-driven perspective going forward.

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