Blog, Live Events February 21, 2022

Understanding Health Disparities

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Hello. This is Dr. Charmaine Herman. And I’m back in 2022 was some more knowledge to give you. Thank you so much, ChiroSecure for allowing this opportunity to talk about things such as cultural competence or today, our topic is going to be understanding health disparities. So again, I’m Dr. Herman. And again, I’m glad to be back in 2022, to give you some more information about what can help us as doctors of chiropractic serve our communities better.

Again. We’re at cultural competence, 1 0 2. And we’re going to start with part one, looking at things such as understanding what our health disparities.

I spoke last year, I am a naturalized citizen of the United States. My parents came here from Jamaica. I grew up in New York, attended many institutions, including university of South Carolina. I received my doctor of chiropractic degree at Chevron college of chiropractic. I worked 10 years for the department of health.

I’ve worked in education. I’ve been teaching for 20 years. Associate professor at life university teaching in the chiropractic program. And I do practice. I practice in Alpharetta, Georgia. My practice is called a gap episode, a health center, and I’ve been in practice now for almost 10 years.

So if you were with me last time, I’m going to just re. Just discuss a few things we discussed previously, first of all, culture, we hear a lot about culture and we hear a lot about diversity and things like that. But I just want to talk about culture because culture is the whole person. We as individuals have our own culture.

It’s the food we eat the holidays, we celebrate our religious services. The clothes we wear, how we feel about things such as modesty and how we feel about things. Such as communication, our communication skills, all of that is what is part of who we are. And that’s exactly what cultural comp cultural is who we are.

And our patients also have their own individual cultures. So a big part of understanding culture is also asking questions to find out more about our patients and the cultures that they espouse to.

You also talked about cultural competence as being the understanding. There’s an importance between the social and cultural influences that our patients experience and how that all interacts with the whole healthcare system. So we have to understand that their social life, their cultures, all part of who they are, how they see chiropractic, how they see healthcare, how they see disease, all of that comes from just being.

They’re in their individual cultures and their social implications that are out there today through that they’re reading things that they’re looking at on social media, all of that, and some occasions of how people actually gravitate to, or away from the allopathic system and towards chiropractic or how they look at health in general.

So again, today, we’re going to talk about understanding health disparities.

Our goals are first to actually define what exactly is a health disparity. And also to find out where we find out more about health disparities in our communities, where would we go to what we look at? What we, how would we find this information that affects our patients? Because our patients are victims of health disparities.

In many communities, we want to be able to better serve them.

So when we talk about health disparities, we’re referencing the differences in health and healthcare between population groups. So every population group has its own individual health disparity, and it falls under a lot of various areas.

So when we talk about health disparities, we’re looking at how it’s adverse adversely affect. Groups of people who have systematically experienced the greater obstacles towards health in our communities. For example, whether it’s race and ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender age health, mental.

Their cognitive abilities, sensory abilities or physical abilities sexual orientation, gender identity, even geographic location. All of these are where people have actually been historically starkly. Discriminated against as well as excluded from the healthcare system based upon just some of these factors.

So it’s good to understand that health disparities can affect a wide range of our patients, not just one particular area, not just race, not just ethnicity, but also especially things such as socioeconomic status.

So things such as poverty can die, can greatly affect a person’s ability to obtain health care even to come to a chiropractor’s office. Poverty’s is a big deterrent from people coming to seeking chiropractic. I heard someone recently say that chiropractic is the middle class to rich person’s health.

Methodology. It’s not for poor people is only for people that can actually afford it. So poverty is one of the things that contribute to health disparities, environmental threats, things such as water, air issues inadequate access to health people have not having transportation getting to, and from their locations.

The healthcare that they need or not having healthcare facilities, even in their communities. And we as chiropractors tend to open up in more MI middle to upper-class locations. So they’re not low, we’re not located near some of the lower socioeconomic areas where people actually do need our services.

Individuals and their behavior factors, things such as mental health, mental illness is a big issue that can adversely affect individuals. So they can’t obtain or even seek adequate health care and educational inequities. Being able to understand. What they need or who they needed from or where they should go.

People’s educational levels are very important, which is why it’s so important for us to talk to our patients on our level that they can actually understand. It’s great to use big words when you’re talking to another health provider, another doctor, so they know they understand that you understand what you’re talking about.

That’s fine, but what we’re dealing with our patients, we should definitely want to. I speak on a level that they can actually comprehend. And this is what keeps a lot of people from acquiring health care. They don’t understand the services. I’m an advocate for my parents, or I tell my students to be advocates for their family members because so many of our family members get caught in the healthcare system.

And don’t realize that some things that they’re required to do that actually don’t meet, but because of their lack of education, they’re going to succumb to a lot of the things that our allopathic healthcare providers do tell them they need.

There’s also, we call the non-biological health disparity issues. These are things that are related definitely to poverty. People being able to have proper. Outcomes. They maybe they can’t find in their communities, the right foods to eat. You may tell them all, you need to go ahead and get some more vegetables in your diet.

But suppose the closest store to their home is a dollar general or a dollar tree where they only have canned foods and canned foods have high amount of sodium. So again, they may not get good health outcomes because of their socioeconomic status. What’s how did the rates, how they rates are higher in women of, for poor or lower social economic status?

Alcohol abuse. Substance abuse are higher in areas of lower socioeconomic economic status, as well as mental health disorders are higher in those areas as well. The other thing we see as violence and victimization people in low social equity. Areas are more likely to experience violence more than someone in a middle-class or upper middle class community.

So these are non-biological health disparities that are definitely the things that people in our lowest social and economic communities experience.

So understanding what health disparities actually are, can actually limit the overall gains in the quality of care and help for the broader population. If we don’t understand we’re going to limit what they can actually obtain, as far as health, we, as doctors of chiropractic, know what health is, it starts inside.

It comes outside, it comes from above and down, but most people don’t realize that. But if we conquer the whole idea of. Where it is and more and more people, a broader population to understand exactly what health actually is understanding what health disparities are also helps in resolving any unnecessary.

So again, when people are told, like my dad has told him needs to get a colonoscopy every year. And I said that there are other way other things that you can do there, the options you have, then he doesn’t have to spend extra money on going ahead and worrying about a colonoscopy and all these other things that.

Oh told that they must do every year, as far as maintaining or be preventative health things like mammograms. I tell my patients about thermography because in Georgia, we have a great mobile for mobile for my wifi unit that comes out to your outcomes in my practice. And we’ll check my patients, check myself, and they’re really a great option to mammograms and other types of invasive exam that they give.

Understanding health disparity also helps to address the increasing changes in our population. Last year, I talked about how our population dynamics are changing by 2050. Our minority population are going to be called emerging. Majority populations are going to see more and more people of color and various race and ethnicity are going to have higher.

Numbers and our population. So understanding of disparities will allow us to take care of these folks who looks like he may not even have chiropractic care. And as our population becomes more diverse, they’re going to need more doctors or chiropractors to understand what health disparities are so they can be better taken care of and have wonder wonderful outcomes through chiropractic care.

So how do I find information about health disparities in my committee?

I so a very diverse community, which I’m very thankful for. I have patients from various ethnic groups of various gender oriented, very various sexual orientations and gender identities. I see quite a few patients languages and I’m excited to see, I see them in my practice and. We’re able to deliver excellent care to them.

So when I’m serving diverse communities, anyone serving diverse communities, you want to understand what types of health disparities may be part of the society that. Care for your community may have certain prevalent issues that you want to be aware of when patients come into your office. So it’s going to be important to be able to find this information.

For example, my patients are African-American. I know there’s a high rate of heart disease as well as hypertension in the African-American community. So I checked her blood pressure regularly. If they’re on medications, I check it more regularly than if they’re not on medication. So I’m going to pay attention to that because I know that as a health disparity within that population, so I pay attention to those types of things.

So to find out more about. Are present what type of health disparities are present in the community? I do recommend the office of minority health. They have an amazing mission and their website has great information that actually allows you to access your own community, to find out any health disparities issues within your community.

The mission is achieving equity. We achieve their mission says achieving equity requires focused and ongoing societal efforts to address historically historical and contemporary injustices. To overcome economic, social, and other obstacles to health and healthcare and to eliminate preventable health disparities.

So their mission is to eliminate health disparities on their websites. They have health disparities for every population. So I do go there and I check out what’s going on from my communities and the over overall Atlanta, Georgia community. See what health disparities. Paying attention to when my patients walk in, helps me ask, know what questions to ask and based upon their particular population group, I want to know how to better serve them.

Another group is the CDC. The center for now has a center for minority health and health equity. And they’re about definitely also doing the same thing as the department of minority health. They want to achieve preventative. Health disparities and get rid of them. Cause we don’t need to have them.

We are one of the greatest nations in the world. We shouldn’t have people still in poverty or having issues, finding access to health. I tell patients, I have my practice on a bus line because my husband brought it when we were looking for offices. You never know. People may not have. And how can they get you if they don’t?

So various things like that, understanding the different things that prevent people from acquiring health care, especially from doctors of chiropractic and just educating my patients is a big part of understanding health disparities.

So my next episode, I’m going to actually talk about the black African black slash African-American community and what particular health disparities they may be experiencing. Again, check your local health department. They have that information there. If you will. I start seeing more African-American patients understanding the things that they may be experiencing compared to other patients, and definitely check with your health department’s office of minority health or the CDC minority health and equity division.

They will give you some great information. So I hope to see you next time. And I want to thank ChiroSecure for really taking the time to do programs just like this. It takes a lot for them and we appreciate them so much. It’s again, this is Dr. Charmaine Herman. Thank you for tuning in this week.

And I hope to see you again in another month or so have a great.