April 4, 2023

On April 4, 2023, NYHealth hosted a webinar to discuss the Brooklyn Health Equity Index. Panelists were:

  • Dr. Aimee Afable, Associate Dean for Community Engagement, SUNY Downstate School of Public Health;
  • Dr. Gwendolyn Lewis, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services, Interfaith Medical Center, One Brooklyn Health System (OBHS);
  • Dr. Tenya Blackwell, Director of Community Engagement and Research, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health; and
  • Anthony DiVittis, Consultant, OBHS.

Patients of color are often marginalized rather than placed at the center of the health care system as a result of racism, bias, mistrust, and gaps in patient-provider communication. Implementing health system improvements that enable patients of color to play a meaningful role in their health care is an important step toward a more equitable health system. For instance, feedback from patients of color on their unique experiences seeking care is central to clinical quality improvement initiatives to combat disparities.

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, OBHS, and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health have partnered to develop the Brooklyn Health Equity Index, tailored to the needs and experiences of residents of Central and Northeast Brooklyn. This index goes beyond traditional patient experience surveys to uncover experiences with discrimination in the health care setting, provider empathy, cultural humility, structural racism, and more. OBHS is currently exploring how to integrate the index into its routine patient experience evaluations to guide equity-focused quality improvement efforts.

Panelists discussed the community-engaged process to create these novel, equity-focused measures, as well as their experiences piloting the patient survey in a large safety-net hospital.

Watch the webinar recording here.

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