Racial Justice and Equity

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has a goal of becoming an anti-racist academic medical center; as conveyed by the theme of our recent Health Equity and Racial Justice Summit.  There are efforts underway to work towards this goal happening at the residency, Department of Medicine and Hospital-wide levels.  In addition, the Mass General Brigham system has a multi-pronged initiative, United Against Racism, which has greatly enhanced the work that is being done at the hospital, Department and residency level.  The details of the United Against Racism initiative can be found here. Here at the Brigham, we have many hospital wide structures to support and advance our work on health equity and racial justice including the Center for Community Health and Health Equity and the Center for Community Wellness, located in Dorchester.  Since the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, we have had a COVID19 Equity Response Team led by DOM faculty member, Dr. Cheryl Clark. This Response Team used a multipronged approach to mitigate and reduce the inequities we were observing around COVID19 by race, ethnicity, primary language and socioeconomic status.

In addition, the Department of Medicine (DOM) has a Health Equity Committee which is Co-Chaired by Dr. Valerie Stone.  This Committee had numerous initiatives to advance health equity in the care that we provide, to enhance access to care at our hospital, to support and advance health equity research, roll out clinical innovations to enhance health equity and to develop and roll out racial justice training. The DOM Health Equity Committee which gives out Health Equity Innovation grants each year to support and advance needed health equity research; a priority is given to grants which will lead to clinical innovations which improve health equity and reduce disparities.

At the residency level, there is an active and progressive Racial Justice Committee. This committee organized and implemented a hospital Demonstration for Black Lives in June. The Racial Justice Committee has been active in efforts to expand access to care at the Brigham, to enhance the availability of user friendly interpretation options for patients whose first language is not English, and efforts to combat the inequities of the COVID19 pandemic.