Another lesson of COVID-19 is that communities of color are disproportionately affected. But it’s not just the pandemic. Many other health outcomes are determined by who you are and where you live. At Duke Health, we don’t find that acceptable. By defining health equity as the foundation of quality, and one of our measures of success, we’ve committed to promoting equal health and well-being for all people.
How we define success:
- Reducing health disparities with partners and communities that Duke Health serves
- Deploying at least three high-impact collaborative community interventions with demonstrable progress
- Establishing racial and health equity as foundational in decision-making across the clinical enterprise
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Stories About Advancing Health Equity
Duke Health providers are partnering with a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services network to connect eligible patients with the community resources they need to combat social inequalities, like food insecurity, housing concerns, and transportation issues. All information shared on the platform known as NCCARE360 is kept confidential between you, your medical provider, and the community organization that receives your consent.
Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications and twice as likely to lose an infant to premature death. Complex reasons contribute to these outcomes, but Duke experts discussed their ongoing commitment to tackle persistent racial inequities in maternal outcomes.
Leadership and faculty from Duke Ob/Gyn met with the office of Rep. Alma Adams to discuss Black maternal health.
In continuing efforts to expand Duke Cancer Institute’s community outreach and engagement matrix of research, programs, and strategic partnerships to reduce the cancer burden and close the cancer disparities gap in its catchment area, DCI senior leadership is excited to welcome a new leader to the COE team.
On Feb. 1 this year, cancer epidemiologist Tomi Akinyemiju, PhD, MS, was named DCI’s new associate director of Community Outreach and Engagement.
Early in 2020, Duke Family Medicine residents Dr. Roosevelt Campbell and Dr. Andrew Flynn began noticing a disturbing trend in their clinics. The COVID-19 pandemic, wreaking havoc in every part of American life, seemed to be disproportionately hitting communities of color. In May, Black Durham residents were 40% less likely to be tested for COVID-19, yet more than twice as likely to test positive when compared to white residents.
Durham Public Schools runs the Holton center and tapped into the Duke University Health System (DUHS), including team members from Duke Regional Hospital, the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Duke Infectious Diseases Clinic, Duke Labs, the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Duke medical students. The groups worked with city and county partners to open the testing center directly in a neighborhood reporting a 25 percent positivity rate among those tested for COVID-19.