Workshop Will Train Medical Providers to Deliver Inclusive Care to Minority Patients
MENLO PARK, Calif., May 31, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Equify Health, an innovation firm working to transform patient-provider experiences, was awarded a $1 million grant by leading biotechnology company Genentech. The grant will support the deployment of a multidisciplinary education program to train medical providers to shed unconscious biases in clinical practice. The ultimate goal behind the grant is to raise the quality of care for minority populations.
Clinical research demonstrates persistent disparities in health care. American Cancer Society research shows Black women have a 41% higher rate of breast cancer mortality than white women. An American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network study found minority patients were more likely to suffer harm because of medical testing errors. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found the race and sex of a patient influenced how physicians managed chest pain.
Other studies showcase how Black Americans had double the risk of dementia being underdiagnosed as white Americans and Black children were less likely to receive broad-spectrum antibiotics when diagnosed with a middle ear infection.
"Negative barriers impacting minority patients are real," says Sylvie Leotin, the founder and CEO of Equify Health. "I spoke with Black cancer patients whose doctors had refused to refer them for a scan because they assumed the patients were making up their symptoms or didn't have insurance. Medical providers often dismiss the symptoms of minority populations and don't explain diagnoses or treatments because they think the patient won't understand. Stereotypes are hurting patients. Tangible change is needed. I'm extremely grateful to Genentech for their support, allowing us to be an essential part of this change."
The new grant will allow Equify Health to expand its education workshop to doctors and nurses at academic hospitals and health care organizations across the United States. The work builds on a 2020 grant from Genentech to research overlooked barriers to health equity and run a pilot training at Emory University School of Medicine. Leotin conducted in-depth interviews with Black cancer patients in the Atlanta area and facilitated a hands-on workshop with Emory providers to help them understand the minority patient experience. The pilot workshop was a success.
"Every doctor reported it was a good use of their time," Leotin explains. "They told us they learned powerful tools to see minority patients differently. And that is our goal. We want to empower providers to see the patient's perspective. Current diversity training doesn't focus on the patient experience. That's what makes our workshop unique. We allow medical providers to see firsthand what marginalized patients go through and discover for themselves how health care fails them. It's that personal understanding that holds the key to change."
With this second grant, Equify Health will expand its pilot workshop to additional institutions beyond Emory and enroll doctors across multiple specialties beyond cancer. The company will also enlarge the beneficiary population to include patients of diverse races and sexual orientations. In addition, the funding will enable Equify Health to enhance the workshop with more immersive multimedia exercises and hire behavioral scientists to create an evaluation of the workshop's effectiveness.
Ryan De Souza, Senior Manager of Giving and Social Impact at Genentech, says, "Our latest investment in Equify Health reflects our continued commitment to promoting an antiracist, fully inclusive and accountable health care system that ensures access to high quality care. Equify Health's trailblazing solution fills an important gap by fostering the necessary understanding of patients that is vital to ensuring a more fair and just health care system. We believe this transformative education workshop will empower and engage medical providers to connect with marginalized patients in a more empathetic and inclusive way. We look forward to seeing Equify Health expand its impact to benefit more patients and providers."
About Equify Health
Equify Health aims to transform health care for good by empowering providers to deliver compassionate, quality care to every patient. Cancer survivor and woman of color Sylvie Leotin founded the company in 2021 after undergoing poor quality care during her cancer treatment – and realizing medical providers couldn't see what they were doing wrong. With a background in anthropology, design thinking, and innovation, Leotin decided to turn her negative experience into an engine to improve care delivery for all patients. Equify Health uses multidisciplinary expertise in science, art, technology, and social sciences to study and transform health care systems from the inside out. The company enables medical providers to re-evaluate how they navigate patients through the continuum of care and address obstacles hindering successful and inclusive care delivery. The company's approach centers around empathy and self-discovery, providing the necessary tools to prioritize all individuals' dignity, humanity and values within health care practices. For more information, visit equifyhealth.com.
Sylvie Leotin, Equify Health, 1 (650) 691-810, [email protected]
SOURCE Equify Health