Discern Health Acts to Address Social Justice & Health Equity

June 2020

Events over the past several weeks have, yet again, demonstrated that the US has a significant amount of work to do to ensure equal treatment and rights for all citizens. The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others are a tragic reminder of the systemic racism endured by Black Americans for many generations and still today. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and affirm that Black Lives Matter.

Health care is an important aspect of American life where the consequences of social inequity are especially pervasive. Health injustices against the Black community are well-documented, from the storied legacy of Henrietta Lacks to the US Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee to disproportionate rates of Black maternal mortality and chronic illness. Disadvantaged and minority populations face significant barriers to high-quality health care and experience worse health outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has starkly illustrated these disparities.

Discern recognizes we can do more as an organization and is committed to being part of the solution. We believe one way to do this is through our work on health care quality, value-based care, and quality measurement. Moving forward, Discern will take additional steps to ensure health care equity is a component of all our work. We are establishing a committee on health equity that will identify opportunities for us to contribute to much needed change in our Baltimore and DC communities and across the country. We will assess health equity issues in each of our projects and advise clients on concrete steps they can take to reduce health care disparities and address social determinants of health. We also will provide additional employee training, so we are better able to identify and address bias and inequity.

Through these efforts, we strive to contribute to an equitable health system and a more just society.

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