Accelerating Change in Health Equity

The global pandemic made public health everyone’s business — and it exposed how underserved communities are not just disproportionately impacted by disease, but often less able to access the care, services and resources for treatment and overall health. This transformational shift in health equity awareness has driven businesses, governments and organizations to address social determinants of health and existing systemic inequities to bring healthcare services and support into under-resourced communities.

The video clip below features highlights from a PRWeek Convene panel I recently moderated discussing the crucial responsibility — and opportunity — that brands and communicators have to make health accessible.

I was joined by Dr. Carl Allamby, MD, Clinic, Emergency Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, who spoke about his own personal journey from car mechanic to doctor, witnessing firsthand the importance of education, accessibility and representation. Also on the panel were Ketchum clients Eli Lilly and Company and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Kathryn Beiser, VP, Global Communications, Eli Lilly and Company, spoke of the incredible work they have undertaken to address inequity, including programs such as 30×30, the Racial Justice Initiative and the creation of their access principles. Valerie Harr, director, Community Health-Enterprise, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, talked about their Horizon Neighbors in Health initiative, the crucial role of engaging stakeholders and partners, and the vital role of education.

I hope our discussion enables you to think about how you in your role as communicator, and your company at large, can use your platform to drive change in healthcare. As the pandemic has shown, healthcare is an issue for all.

You can watch the full recording by clicking here and registering. If you’d like to talk further about health equity and the implications of this discussion for your own brand, reach out — and watch this space for future information about our health equity offerings.

Valarie Clark, MPA, has spent her career listening, learning, and leading in public health, academic health and community and civic engagement. Recently serving as Director of Stakeholder Engagement for the over 100 national and community engagement partners in All of Us Research Program, Valarie has also held leadership positions at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the Mayor’s Office – Boston Women’s Commission.

In 2019, Valarie received an executive certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Management from Georgetown University. She also holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor’s in Health Services Management from Virginia’s Norfolk State University. She is the recipient of the AAMC Spirit of Excellence Award, the AAMC’s highest honor for employee achievement, and is an active board member of Leadership Greater Washington.