Updated Apr 22, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on accessibility in health services

On Thursday, April 22, Axios health care editor Sam Baker discussed racial inequities in health care, from policy to disparities in mortality rates, featuring Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and #NotJustABlackBody founder and physician Dr. Magdala Chery.

Rep. Sewell discussed systemic inequities in health care and efforts to achieve access to health services in Alabama.

  • On the impact of the American Rescue Plan: "Giving extensions of the Affordable Care Act to people who are currently in an enrollment period right now...[It also includes] incentives for states that have not expanded Medicaid like Alabama, a five percent boost, encouraging them to do so now over the next two years."
  • On the accumulative nature of lack of access to quality health care: "You don't have preventative services [and so] you can't actually get the benefit of being able to treat some of these issues early on, which just adds to the cost."

Dr. Magdala Chery unpacked how COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities, and how a multipronged approach, from policymakers to practitioners, is needed to make a lasting difference.

  • On where to start with addressing systemic racism in health care: "[We can] listen to the stories of what has happened in this pandemic and start to center the communities and the voices that experienced this firsthand...they're going to be revealing solutions and things that we need to consider."
  • On what practitioners should ask themselves: "When a patient steps through your door, do they feel safe? Do they feel like they can trust that their needs will be heard?... What are you doing within your institution to establish trust, so patients actually feel okay coming to the hospital?"

Axios Chief People Officer Dominique Taylor hosted a View from the Top segment with Institute for Gene Therapies Scientific, Academic and Medical Council chair Dr. Donna Christian-Christensen who discussed social and economic determinants of health, and how it impacts everything from basic health to the need for more cutting-edge treatments.

  • "Just a small increase in a minimum wage, for example, has been shown to reduce low birth weight births and therefore reduce neonatal deaths. When you move an individual out of a high-poverty, low-resource area to a place that is a much has a much better environment, we see their health improved."

Thank you Institute for Gene Therapies for sponsoring this event.

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