Community Engagement Build Bridges to Combat Health Inequities

09-08-2023 02:01

Milwaukee, WI (popn: 1.5M) – the 5th most segregated metro area in the US – experiences some of the starkest health inequities. Local communities of color residing in pockets of concentrated poverty bear the brunt of poor social drivers of health shaped by historical and current systemic oppression, which are known to give rise to vast and varied health and healthcare inequities. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an already overburdened local health care system to its breaking point whereby those in need of immediate care are faced with the barriers of high cost, long waitlist times, and lack of continuity of care due to a health care provider shortage. We are at an inflection point where we can implement lasting, transformational solutions that can meaningfully enhance the current landscape for the hardest-hit communities by expanding the mental health continuum of care by implementing community-driven strategies.

Author(s):Gabriela Nagy, PhD
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Opening Plenary at the 44th Forum

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