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Health Equity & Access Weekly Roundup: June 22, 2024

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This week, the Center on Health Equity & Access featured expert perspectives on sickle cell disease, obesity, psychological safety, LGBTQ+ health, and postpartum depression.

Elevating Equitable Health Care for the LGBTQ+ Community

This episode of Managed Care Cast, part of the Pride Month 2024 series, features Patrick McGovern, the CEO of Callen-Lorde since August 2023. As a seasoned advocate for HIV and LGBTQ+ community health, he discussed his extensive career dedicated to equitable health care. McGovern, who is openly gay, also reflected on his personal and professional commitment to addressing the health disparities faced by LGBTQ+ individuals and people living with HIV.

World Sickle Cell Awareness Day: Navigating the Present and Shaping the Future of Sickle Cell Disease

In honor of World Sickle Cell Day, this feature article reviewed the milestone moments for the community from the last year. At the end of 2023, the FDA approved 2 innovative gene therapies, exa-cel and lovo-cel, offering potential cures for sickle cell disease (SCD). However, they present significant challenges, including high costs, complex logistics, and limited accessibility. To address these barriers, initiatives like the upcoming Cell and Gene Therapy Access Model aim to improve access for Medicaid-insured individuals. Meanwhile, ongoing advocacy and research continue to seek broader, more equitable treatment options for all within the SCD community.

Dr Rachel Dalthorp: Zuranolone Improves Access to Postpartum Depression Treatment

Zuranolone (Zurzuvae) has revolutionized postpartum depression (PPD) treatment by offering the first oral medication that can be taken at home. Unlike the older intravenous infusion brexanolone, which requires hospital monitoring, zuranolone provides rapid relief without separating mothers from their babies. Rachel Dalthorp, MD, explained that this neurosteroid significantly improves care for mothers, allowing them to manage PPD effectively and conveniently at home.

Contributor: Improving Health Care Through Psychological Safety

In an article authored by Carolyn Tandy, senior vice president and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer of Humana, she addressed the increasing burnout and resignations among US workers and how it's impacted patient care and public health. Psychological safety, where employees feel safe to speak up and be themselves without fear, is essential. Most employees prioritize workplaces that value their well-being, according to a recent survey highlighted. Tandy emphasized that leaders must promote a safe, inclusive workplace to empower staff and enhance patient care.

Obesity Management in 2024: A Look at the CINEMA Program’s Growth and Impact

At a recent Institute for Value-Based Medicine® event hosted by The American Journal of Managed Care® and University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ian Neeland, MD, discussed the success and growth of the CINEMA program at University Hospitals in Cleveland, which he directs. He highlighted the challenges in obesity management for 2024, exacerbated by a shortage of semaglutide, a key treatment for diabetes and obesity. Neeland also emphasized the need for more resources and education to address the high demand for obesity care.

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