Health Care Disparities
On November 9, 2004, the 2004 Council of the Medical Society of The State of New York took action to establish an independent MSSNY Task Force which would seek to incorporate the recommendations found in the 2002 IOM report, “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare”, as well as model several of the policy objectives found within AMA policy to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care in New York State. Initially, the Task Force was chaired by Dr. Anthony Clemendor and titled, “The Task Force to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Health Care Disparities”. In 2009, the Task Force was made a permanent Standing Committee and renamed “The Committee to Eliminate Health Care Disparities”. The focus of the Committee was broadened to include all health care disparities.
“Our vision is to create a model of achievement that overcomes healthcare disparities through education and practical initiatives and provides the resources to effectively reach all healthcare providers, healthcare delivery organizations, and patients throughout all of New York State, and all of America, without regard to race, class, religion, source of payment, place of origin, and economic or cultural status.”
The Mission of this Committee is to obtain the best available evidence
on the existence of healthcare disparities in the State of New York, to identify the causes, and to propose the most effective strategies to reduce or, if possible, eliminate those disparities that most critically impact the health and general well-being of all populations in >New York.
The Committee includes approximately 30 New York physicians from around the state representing a broad range of practice specialties as well as diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. It membership has convened meetings approximately twice a year. The Committee is building upon existing relationships with organizations to facilitate its mission objectives. Liaisons include, but are not limited to the following groups/organizations:
• American Medical Association Foundation
• National Medical Association
• NYS Department of Health
• Empire State Medical Association
• Spanish American Medical and Dental Society of New York
• NYS Area Health Education Centers
• NYS Assembly and Senate Black and Hispanic Legislative Caucuses
• NYS Council of Black Elected Democrats.
• Area Health Education Centers
Committee to Eliminate Health Care Disparities
The Committee has received grants from Pfizer to enable it to participate in the Doctors Back to School Program developed by the American Medical Association. This program will send Task Force Members, who are physicians, into middle and high schools in their counties to talk to students, particularly minority students, and encourage them to pursue a career in medicine. They will mentor those students who exhibit interest and help them to pursue the goal of entering medical school and becoming a physician. Additional grants from Pfizer enabled the Committee to develop and produce CME programs entitled Culture Block: How Cultural and Ethnic Beliefs and Traditions Affect a Patient’s Medical Care and Compliance; and a health literacy program entitled Effectively Communicating With a Diverse Patient Population. Each of these programs was presented to close to 1,000 physicians and other health care providers and both were evaluated extremely well.