Targeting solutions to local health care needs — a tale of two communities

By Nancy G. Brinker and Eric T. Rosenthal
December 23, 2017
The Hill

Health care may be global, but reaching realistic health care equity often requires creative, tailored local solutions.

It’s pretty clear that not everyone has equal access to the latest medical advances and often to even basic health care.

There are many reasons including such obstacles as affordability, inadequate insurance, inconvenient proximity, insufficient information, poor transportation, or lack of knowledgeable health system navigators.

And despite countless dollars and time spent by various governmental, private, for-profit, non-profit, and academic entities on research, outreach, education, prevention, treatment, and infrastructure, many health care needs are still not being met today in the United States.

While it is always easy to point fingers at specific institutions or individuals for the failings of our so-called health-care system, it is often more effective to stitch together innovative collaborative solutions to take care of short-term health needs in a meaningful timely manner, while simultaneously seeking more sustainable long-term cures for health care disparities.

A number of recent examples come to mind in both the nation’s capital and the state of Arizona.

When a number of predominantly underserved African American women in Washington, D.C. were not receiving adequate screening for breast cancer by existing institutions, a coalition of health-care professionals, advocates, philanthropists, governmental agencies, and non-profit and corporate sponsors emerged to provide state-of-the-art screening and access to treatment if required in an easily accessible neighborhood setting.

In the past three years, this effort at the Breast Care for Washington DCcenter has provided some 3300 mammograms resulting in detection of about 30 cases of breast cancer that might not have received adequate treatment otherwise…

To read Nancy’s op-ed in its entirety please visit The Hill‘s website.