At the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health 2023 Wellness Summit, Vikki Walton, MBA, addresses the role employers have in health equity.
Vikki Walton, MBA, health equity leader at Mercer, discussed how health equity can be improved by employers through their diversity equity and inclusion (DE&I) strategy in a presentation at the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health (GPBCH).
Can you share an overview of your presentation: Advancing Health Equity as Part of an Employer’s DE&I Strategy?
My overview for the presentation is essentially talking with employers about the role that they can play in addressing and advancing health equity, specifically within their benefits. And so what we have found is that employers have recognized that they need to address health equity, they just don't quite understand how to do that.
Mercer, our health equity consulting group, goes in and works side by side with employers to look at their benefits, identify where there are gaps when it comes to inclusive benefits, and then find ways in which they can work with our partners or work with physicians, and then assess over time to improve the health of their employees, which we know employers make up about 50% if not more coverage for employees within the US. So it's very, very important that they play a role in this entire ecosystem of health equity.
What types of employers does your company work with to improve DE&I strategy?
We work across the board, so not just employers that are health-specific, but it could be a manufacturer, it could be a retail employer, and it could be a nonprofit organization that has employees. It is for employers that are providing health care, health insurance for their employees, and how can you support those benefits and ensure that they're inclusive? And if there are gaps, or we notice disparities, say for populations that have diabetes, mental health, or chronic conditions, if there are challenges, what can we do to ensure that there's equity?