November 21, 2014
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Hospital Forms Health Equity Community Advisory Panel To Serve Minorities

 Sinai Hospital of Baltimore has formed a Health Equity Community Advisory Panel to look at inequalities in health care and how they are affecting the health outcomes of the residents in the communities that Sinai serves.

“Sinai was founded over 143 years ago because of health inequalities that the Jewish Community faced,” said Neil Meltzer, president and COO of Sinai Hospital. “We have a history of responding to inequities in our society. It’s important that we understand the different groups in our community and respond to their health care needs in a way that is most comfortable for them while still ensuring the best outcomes.”

The panel is made of a diverse group of people from health care and non-health care backgrounds, including local political and community leaders, state health officials, and residents who are of Caribbean, Orthodox Jewish, Russian, Hispanic and African American descent. Two researchers, one from the University of Maryland and one from Morgan State University, also are part of the group.

“We want to partner with a broad-based group of people who can help us understand the changing demographics of our patient population and how it affects their health,” said Pamela Young, Ph.D., director of Community Initiatives at Sinai and co-chair of the hospital’s Health Equity Task Force. “We eventually hope to tap into this group’s expertise to develop strategies and implement efforts to make a meaningful impact on the health of our communities.”

Sinai’s initiative began three years ago when state Delegate Shirley Nathan-Pulliam selected Sinai for a pilot project to look at whether training hospital staff to be culturally sensitive to patients could improve health outcomes. That initial project evolved into Sinai’s decision to develop a Health Equity Task Force inside the hospital. This group is helping raise awareness of health inequities and educate staff with the goal of improving patient-provider communication to achieve better health outcomes. The development of the Community Advisory Panel is the next step in Sinai’s health equity project.

The health equity project is being conducted with the guidance of the Adventist HealthCare Center on Health Disparities in Montgomery County, whose expertise will be used to design and implement strategies developed by the Health Equity Task Force and the Health Equity Community Advisory Panel.

Sinai Hospital is part of LifeBridge Health, one of the largest, most comprehensive providers of health services in Northwest Baltimore. LifeBridge Health also includes Northwest Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Courtland Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, and related subsidiaries and affiliates. For more information, visitwww.lifebridgehealth.org.

 
Source: LifeBridge Health



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