We strongly believe that every patient, no matter his or her race, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status and sexual identity, should receive high quality, safe, timely and patient centered care.
Unfortunately, the care that many individuals across Ohio and our nation receive is not homogeneous. As described in the 2002 Institute of Medicine report “Unequal Treatment,” there are patient and provider factors that contribute to variation in care delivery, barriers to utilization of care and differences in outcomes. Such health disparities are most striking amongst those from vulnerable populations, specifically racial and ethnic minorities and those of low socioeconomic status.
For example, in the realm of gastroenterology and hepatology, the following are well-documented disparities:
- The incidence of and mortality from colorectal cancer is highest among African Americans. However, African Americans are less likely to undergo colorectal cancer screening and of those who are diagnosed with late-stage cancer, they are less likely to receive treatment.
- Similarly, the prevalence of a hepatitis C virus infection is higher among African Americans than any other racial group in the United States. Additionally, African Americans develop hepatocellular carcinoma at significantly greater rate. However, they have a lower likelihood of receiving a liver transplantation.
In the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, we strongly believe that equity is everyone’s business. Our leadership, clinicians and researchers are committed to identifying disparities, finding solutions and translating these solutions into practice.
We work hard to engage and educate our community and reconcile disparities. Please stay tuned for updates about upcoming events and information about how you can get involved.
Thank you for your interest in our work.