Many of the projects run out of the Urban Health Lab address longstanding legacies of structural racism in the US. For example, vacant and blighted spaces in many cities are the result of decades of population loss, disinvestment and decline. These spaces are often in the exact neighborhoods that were redlined between the 1930s-60s. The health consequences are staggering.
Dr. South is also a member of the Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Alliance of Minority Physicians (AMP), a group dedicated to developing leaders in clinical, academic, and community medicine through active recruitment, career development, mentorship, social engagement and community outreach geared towards underrepresented faculty, housestaff and medical students. Through AMP, the Urban Health Lab is active in building an antiracist health system at both Penn Medicine and CHOP.
While racial disparities in health and healthcare are well described, less is known about how to identify and intervene on patient experiences of racism within health systems. A patient-centered approach to effectively address and dismantle racism in healthcare remains under-explored. Emergency departments provide safety-net care for many Black communities and are ideal settings to begin this investigation. This study will use remote patient engagement and qualitative methods to investigate Black patient perceptions of racism to guide institutional change.
Capturing and Intervening on Daily Experiences of Racism in Healthcare Settings Funded by The Commonwealth Fund, Partnership with the Center for Health Care Innovation
Experiences of racism, bias, and discrimination in the workplace are common for Black and other minoritized individuals – including within healthcare. The negative impact of these experiences is profound; clinicians and other staff experience stunted career development and isolation, and patient care and outcomes suffer. Simultaneously, many white individuals lack understanding of the ways in which racism shapes the daily lives colleagues. And while formal human resources (HR) avenues to report racism exist, they are underutilized for reasons including fear of retaliation, uncertainty that reporting will lead to meaningful change, and a sense that many experiences are not significant enough to warrant HR involvement. It is apparent that daily and recurrent experiences of racism in the workplace are happening, but not being systematically and proactively measured, reviewed, or intervened upon. The Urban Health Lab is collaborating with the Center for Health Care Innovation at Penn Medicine to design a low-friction, anonymous digital platform to actively collect and intervene on experiences of racism in the healthcare workplace.
Building a Culture of Antiracism
After widespread statements of solidarity in support of #BlackLivesMatter, health care leaders are now seeking approaches to translate symbolic gestures into meaningful antiracist action. This paper provides an actionable framework that can be implemented to build a culture of antiracism in health care systems.