Health differences between racial and ethnic groups are often due to economic and social conditions that are more common among some racial and ethnic minorities than whites. In public health emergencies, these conditions can also isolate people from the resources they need to prepare for and respond to outbreaks.
In response, VCU is collaborating with community partners to lead a task force to address health disparities for minority and senior populations related to COVID-19. Action teams have been formed to support education, communications and telehealth. We are also working closely with local health departments and community partners to address emerging needs and priority areas.
This work is part of an ongoing university-VCU Health-community health equity initiative, working to infuse health equity principles into education, training and research to remove barriers that create health inequities — those related to geography, education, and social and financial resources. By 2025, our work will substantially reduce the negative impact of defined social determinants of health. We are:
Preparing health care professionals, including VCU Health team members, and students to apply the knowledge and principles of health to their everyday work.
Increasing the quantity of high-quality equity research that generates new knowledge for the community and related disciplines.
Expanding the capacity for VCU, VCU Health and community partners to collaborate and address health inequities.