Pennsylvania Convening Focuses on Achieving Excellence in Care for All
“Pennsylvania’s Healthcare Mosaic 2018 is an opportunity to join forces with the Pennsylvania Action Coalition in any capacity to act, lead, and advance a more equitable world of health and health care for some of the most vulnerable and least likely to be loved members of our society, including our patients.”
- Rita K. Adeniran, DrNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, assistant clinical professor at Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions, president and CEO of Innovative and Inclusive Global Solutions, co-chair of the Mosaic conference and co-chair of the Pennsylvania Action Coalition Nurse Diversity Council.
As health care professionals, nurses are at the vanguard of equitable and culturally competent care for the populations we serve. Now, more than ever, nursing perspectives and expertise are essential to alleviate health disparities and promote public health and positive patient outcomes.
Despite efforts to address health disparities:
- Nearly one in five people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) has avoided seeking medical care for fear of discrimination.
- Nearly 20 percent of Americans experience barriers in access to adequate primary health care.
- Black women are 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes.
- Approximately one in eight people with HIV are denied health services because of stigma and discrimination.
When health care professionals come together to address these challenges in the context of inclusion and health equity they can effect great change. That is why the Pennsylvania Action Coalition, in partnership with the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP), convened health care stakeholders from across the state for “Pennsylvania’s Healthcare Mosaic: Achieving Excellence in Care for All” on June 26-27, 2018 at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania’s Healthcare Mosaic 2018 was an opportunity for 150 nurses, social workers and physicians to hear from experts who are addressing social determinants to increase equity and inclusivity and foster a safer, more caring healthcare environment in which patients are heard, respected, and able to contribute to decisions related to their care. The conference featured distinguished speakers who discussed:
- The importance of humility and graciousness, or creating a “Gracious Space”, in dialogue among healthcare providers and between providers and consumers to reduce disparities resulting from failures in communication in healthcare delivery;
- How to build awareness among clinicians of the unique healthcare challenges experienced by LGBTQ populations;
- Examples of developing culturally-competent, community-based healthcare interventions that mitigate the influence of racial bias, including changing the way we talk about race and racism in health research and education.
Keynoting the conference was Deputy Surgeon General Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, PhD, RN, FAAN. Trent-Adams discussed the need to bridge gaps and build a Culture of Health while providing insight from her role advising operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. “Culture is complex,” Trent-Adams said. “This is hard work, but it’s worth it.” Moreover, the nursing profession is central to this work. “Nurse-led care is high-quality, affordable, provided at the community level, well-coordinated with a healthcare team. The nurse-led model is sustainable,” she said.
Threaded through the conference themes was a commitment to inclusion, health equity, and alleviating the social determinants of health. “How closely matching are services across populations despite the disparities that could detract from them? How can we blur those lines?” asked Veronica Carey, PhD, CPRP, conference co-chair and assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Drexel CNHP. Carey’s solution? “Any attempt to bring access and opportunities closer together across populations must be sustained. It is not simply because we have or don’t have a particular person in a position or office at a given moment in time.”
This sentiment was echoed by Adeniran, also the president and CEO of Innovative and Inclusive Global Solutions (IIGS). IIGS is a consulting firm that assists organizations to leverage the total workforce capacity for enhanced productivity and optimal outcomes. According to Adeniran, a commitment to inclusivity and a spirit of graciousness promotes “positive and constructive contact with otherness.” It “unleashes creativity by allowing people to be themselves and to appreciate diversity in its broadest form.” “After all,” says Adeniran, “diversity is one true thing we all have in common, let’s celebrate it every day!”
Pennsylvania Action Coalition Executive Director Sarah Hexem agreed. “Pennsylvania’s Healthcare Mosaic 2018 was a tremendous opportunity for health care providers statewide and from across disciplines to come together and collaborate on issues of health equity. We hope that the spirit of inclusion and “Gracious Space” infused by our distinguished speakers and attendees will provide the groundwork for future collaborations in the year ahead.”
Pennsylvania’s Healthcare Mosaic 2018: Achieving Excellence in Care for All was held June 26-27 at the Mandell Theater at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. The Pennsylvania Action Coalition is housed at the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium, an affiliate of Public Health Management Corporation. For more information on the Pennsylvania Action Coalition, please visit their website here. To view the recording of Deputy Surgeon General Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, PhD, RN, FAAN’s presentation, please click here.