Studies show that a zip code can influence a person’s life expectancy. It doesn’t have to be that way. We want everyone in the greater Richmond area to have quality care for lifelong health. This is a journey we take together as part of Richmond’s city-wide Culture of Health initiative to ensure that every person has reliable, welcoming access to the care they need to get healthy and stay healthy.
We’re changing our approach to health care to better care for the whole person, not just the condition. Understanding health equity principles is the first step to improving care. We’re 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’ll do this by:
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.
A growing number of health care providers, researchers, faculty, administrators and leaders from community organizations are coming together to improve how we provide care. Our first initiative, launched in May 2019, is a pilot program on the North 5 adult General Medicine unit of the hospital to screen patients for health related social needs with a focus on housing, food insecurity and transportation.