OHSU seeks to eliminate health inequities through research, outreach

Physicians and scientists are advancing understanding of social determinants of health, addressing health disparities by breaking down barriers to care
Vision health patient Timothy Merrifield stopped by the vision care booth at OHSU’s Health Care Equity Fair to get his vision checked and to see about getting some new glasses. Since 2009, OHSU medical students have organized the annual health fair to help improve health care access for local residents. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)
Vision health patient Timothy Merrifield stopped by the vision care booth at OHSU’s Health Care Equity Fair to get his vision checked and to see about getting some new glasses. Since 2009, OHSU medical students have organized the annual health fair to help improve health care access for local residents. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)

As part of Oregon Health & Science University’s efforts to better serve historically marginalized communities, OHSU scientists and clinicians involved in a wide variety of fields are advancing research to better understand and eliminate preventable health disparities. OHSU researchers are examining how  social determinants of health—including where people are born, live, learn, work, play and worship—can increase an individual’s risk for developing some conditions. For example, researchers at OHSU are one of the few nationwide using data to understand chronic disease patterns among vulnerable populations. OHSU is working to increase clinical trial diversity so that trial participants better represent U.S. society as a whole, and ensure that research results can applicable to everyone. Physician-scientists are looking into why children of color face more barriers to accessing health care, and then improve outcomes for those children. And OHSU is not only working to break down barriers to health care and reach the most vulnerable patients, but also training the next generation of clinicians to center that in their work, as well.