Health Equity Coalition Discusses Implicit Bias, Social Factors At Summit

Aug 28, 2019

A summit in Indianapolis focused on ways to reduce health inequity and tackled social factors that influence health. 

Health leaders, advocates and policymakers from around the state attended the Health Equity Summit that was a first for Health By Design, a coalition that works to create healthier places. 

Kim Irwin is the executive director.

"Health outcomes, how long you live, how well you live, is directly tied to things that have nothing to do with doctor’s office and pharmaceuticals," says Irwin. 

Those things include safe communities, transportation and employment opportunities.

Race and implicit bias also plays into health disparity and that topic was top of mind at the summit.  

Keynote speaker Lily Farhang co-directs a California nonprofit that focuses on these issues and says events like this are a good first step.  

"The willingness to engage in an honest conversation about what the roots of health inequity are," says Farhang. 

Irwin says some people in Indiana don't have equal health opportunities. 

"It is also about the LGBTQ community, it about people with disabilities, it’s about any type of ‘othering’ that happens and how we systematically leave people out because of that," says Irwin. 

About 200 people attended the event and heard about ways to bring large-scale changes that could promote health equity. 

Contact Jill at jsheridan@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @JillASheridan.