At UNC Health, we aspire to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity in our patients and community. In order to achieve health equity, we must make fundamental changes across multiple systems and at multiple levels.
We aspire to create a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist culture for the health and well-being of our patients, co-workers, and communities.
We are guided by these principles:
- Eliminating health disparities requires addressing differences in health outcomes, health status, and health care use.
- Achieving health equity requires addressing social and structural barriers, such as structural racism and poverty. These barriers have different effects on different groups of people.
- Addressing structural racism is needed to become an equitable and inclusive healthcare system. Structural racism is a system that shapes opportunities and assigns value based on how one looks (what we call “race") that unfairly disadvantages some people and communities and unfairly advantages other individuals and communities and hurts all of us.
Some of our health equity efforts include:
- COVID-19 Community Testing – provides COVID-19 testing in under-served areas in partnership with churches, community centers, schools, etc.
- Rockingham Primary Care Initiative – joint effort to meet the healthcare workforce needs in Rockingham County
- FIT (Formerly Incarcerated Transitions) Program – connects people that have been in prison and have chronic disease, mental illness, and/or substance use disorder with the right healthcare services and other resources.
- Carolina Health Net (Piedmont Health Services and UNC Family Medicine ) – provides health care for uninsured individuals in Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Lee and Orange counties
- Community Engaged Research Projects (Heart Matters, MapsCorp, Project Grace) – longstanding (15-year) research partnership between UNC School of Medicine researchers and community organizations in Nash and Edgecombe counties to reduce heart disease risk among African-Americans
- NC TraCS Community and Stakeholder Engagement – helps engagement between academic, clinical and community partners across the state to ensure that: stakeholder input informs research; research addresses the needs of the communities it serves; and underrepresented populations are represented in the research process
- UNC Wayne Health CoNEXTion program – provides free home visits to give high-risk patients the tools they need to manage their health following a hospital visit.
There is more work to be done to achieve health equity, and we are committed to doing the work!