Lawrence Community Discusses Fixing Health Inequities
PHOTO CAPTION: From left are Michael Curry, Esq., CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers; Juan Fernando Lopera, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Beth Israel Lahey Health; and Guy L. Fish, MD, CEO of Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.
Addressing health inequity means addressing issues that extend beyond what happens in doctors’ offices.
Inequities in education, work opportunities, economic gaps, institutionalized racism, and other social determinants of health play a large factor in the medical health of individuals and families, said Michael Curry, Esq., CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.
“We don’t connect those dots very well. And they all impact health,” Curry said. “All of us want to live healthy … all of us want a great job, a great education, a great career. So something happened along the way that made that not possible for millions of Americans.”
His remarks were part of “Health Equity Matters,” a community discussion hosted by Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) as part of its speaker series. Attendees gathered to talk about creating solutions to the significant challenges Lawrence residents face in trying to lead healthier lives, said Guy L. Fish, MD, CEO of GLFHC.
“It’s setting the stage to talk about things like health equity, food insecurity, homelessness or being unhoused, and restorative justice. These are some of the topics we’ll be engaging with in the rest of the series,” Fish said.
Health equity is the next frontier in health reform – tackling centuries-old issues that stem from systemic racism and social determinants of health, said Juan Fernando Lopera, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Beth Israel Lahey Health.
“We’re looking at how to address issues like health equity with leaders who are in positions of influence who can really have population-level impact and who do it with heart, based on lived experiences,” he said.
The event was held at Lawrence High School’s Performing Arts Center. The next topic is Restorative Justice and the speaker is Jadi Taveras, Head of School at Esperanza Academy in Lawrence. The session is Thursday, August 18 at 4:30 pm, also at Lawrence High’s Performing Arts Center.
The session is available for viewing on GLFHC’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/rcFSIsEeuC4.