Addressing Health Inequities African Americans Face

Health Inequities African Americans Face

Jamaal Richie, M.D. is a physician at UofL Health – Urgent Care Plus – Parkland in west Louisville. Historically, this neighborhood has not had affordable or easily accessible health care for its residents.

As a Louisville native, Dr. Richie is pleased with the opportunity to provide quality care to a marginalized community impacted by the lack of access to equitable health care.

“Health inequities among African Americans, for me as a Black male physician, are a pressing concern,” he said. “And it should be a pressing concern for all of us – it definitely demands attention.”

According to Project HOPE, Black Americans are more than twice as likely as white Americans to not have enough health care options near where they live.

African Americans are more susceptible to chronic illnesses, including hypertension, diabetes and obesity, compared to other racial groups. Dr. Richie said that addressing these health inequities will uphold the principles of human rights and will have significant positive economic implications.

“Addressing these health inequities is crucial,” he said. “It really helps and benefits us all as a community that supports community empowerment, social cohesion and fostering a sense of fairness and solidarity amongst us as neighbors.”

Dr. Richie said his team plans to educate about and promote the importance of health care in the Black community by, providing the proper information to give residents easy access to their closest health care providers. Also, he said it’s important for health care providers to establish a strong relationship with their patients to cultivate a community built on trust, empathy and compassion.

“It’s important to feel like you can trust the providers with whom you’re entrusting your life,” Dr. Richie said. “It’s important we understand the culture of the community we’re working with and the perspectives of the people we’re taking care of.”

Dr. Richie feels gratitude in helping serve west Louisville and hopes to continue to break down the barriers to equitable health care the marginalized area is working to overcome.

“Having grown up in the West End, I’ve seen the firsthand impact that inadequate access to care can have on families across generations,” he said. “Having access to care right in the middle of the community is only one starting point to breaking down the barriers to the social determinants of health.”

Dr. Richie said he is thankful for UofL Health because the organization continues to work and provide equitable health care services to marginalized communities throughout Louisville.

“Our overarching focus is to provide compassionate patient care and address specific needs to improve the overall health of the West Louisville community,” he said.

UofL Health – Urgent Care Plus has five locations throughout the Louisville area where you can quickly get care you need for many illnesses and injuries. Click here to find wait times.

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Article by: UofL Health

UofL Health is a fully integrated regional academic health system with eight hospitals, four medical centers, Brown Cancer Center, Eye Institute, nearly 200 physician practice locations, and more than 1,000 providers in Louisville and the surrounding counties, including southern Indiana. Additional access to UofL Health is provided through a partnership with Carroll County Memorial Hospital. With more than 13,000 team members – physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists and other highly-skilled health care professionals, UofL Health is focused on one mission: to transform the health of communities we serve through compassionate, innovative, patient-centered care.

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