The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on health disparities in our society. BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color) communities are getting sick and dying at far higher rates than whites. Yet this is simply one example of persistent, systemic inequities caused by institutional racism. They exist in health, education, wealth and the criminal justice system. As the state’s academic health center, OHSU has a duty and responsibility to address the underlying causes of adverse health outcomes.
Speaking truth to power in resistance to systemic disparities is part of OHSU’s commitment to becoming an antiracist and multicultural institution. As President Dr. Danny Jacobs has said, “silence and inaction have led our society to where we are today and can no longer be tolerated going forward.”
A new, online event series will amplify efforts to improve health equity in our state. Health care providers and public health researchers have well-established partnerships with members of BIPOC communities, and are beginning to untangle and reverse disparities.
The first event – slated for Oct. 28 and available online – will help define health equity. Panelists will discuss the financial and economic consequences of health inequity, structural racism and COVID-19, and the importance of culturally and linguistically appropriate care.
Join OHSU employees and learners as we collectively learn about positive change underway in our neighborhoods.
Look for more information on this monthly, noon-hour lecture series soon.