Health Affairs Theme Issue on Racism and Health
Special Projects Fund
June 15, 2021
Outside New York State
Systemic racism in the United States is a public health issue that dates back hundreds of years.
The COVID-19 pandemic is just the most recent example of racial disparities in health, with death rates and hospitalization rates more than twice as high for Black residents as for their white counterparts. Racism must be explored as a key driver of health outcomes and health disparities. The time is right to move beyond defining the problem and bring new evidence to the health care sector and health policy community to motivate action. Health Affairs, the nation’s leading peer-reviewed health policy journal, regularly publishes special thematic issues that address major topics in health care policy and practice. In 2021, NYHealth awarded a grant to Project HOPE for Health Affairs to publish a thematic issue on racism and health, which was published in 2022.
Under this grant, Health Affairs issued a broad call for abstracts, collaborating with NYHealth—as well as other funders and thought leaders—to generate ideas and identify authors and topics. It held an online briefing, coincident with the release of the journal issue, to bring authors together with policymakers and community leaders. Health Affairs also featured related commentary and analyses on its blog to keep steady attention on the topic of structural racism. It developed a set of podcasts to bring the evidence and analysis into a user-friendly format for widespread dissemination. Health Affairs also engaged in robust outreach to promote the journal issue and related content.