Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Health equity is achieved when all people can attain their highest level of health and wellbeing. Health equity is “assurance of the conditions for optimal health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing all individuals and populations equally, recognizing and rectifying historical injustice, and providing resources according to need.” – Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD
The MMA is committed to advancing health equity and confronting systemic racism. In pursuit of our mission to make Minnesota the healthiest state and best place to practice, this commitment is strategically embedded in our organization, with “improved health equity” as a key outcome in our strategic map. Our work to improve health equity is based off three primary areas of focus. They include:
Early education mentorship and science exposure opportunities to increase the number of Black men and other backgrounds underrepresented in medicine.
Identifying and eliminating racism and structural and institutional attributes in physician training.
Changing the Face of Medicine (MMA Foundation Fund)
Housing is Health: The MMA is working on ways for the medical community to address the issue of homelessness and housing insecurity.
Racism and Policing: The MMA Board of Trustees directed the MMA Public Health Committee to examine the issue of police brutality and related trauma.
This initiative arose from the call to address the harmful effects of racism, microaggressions, and implicit bias on physicians from marginalized groups and communities. Research suggests that these types of discrimination are associated with negative implications for physicians relating to career advancement and satisfaction, physical and mental health, well-being, and burnout.
Through a series of video interviews, the MMA curated personal stories from physicians from marginalized groups with the goal of centering their perspectives, building appreciation for their experiences, and fostering understanding of the issues facing Minnesota medicine.
On July 25, 2023 we will be hosting a 90 minute symposium to showcase the video series and hear from a panel of the physician leaders who we interviewed. This will be an opportunity to discuss emergent issues relating to racism in medicine and uplift a call to action.
Click Here to view the video series and for event information.
The CoP is a peer network dedicated to advancing health equity and addressing the significant racial and ethnic health disparities that persist throughout our state. The CoP brings together health equity leaders and professionals from around Minnesota to exchange expertise, resources, and ideas. It provides an opportunity for cross-organizational communication, collaboration, and collective action in support of health equity. For more information about joining, please contact Haley Brickner, health equity coordinator.
Research suggests that implicit biases contribute to health disparities by affecting patient relationships and care decisions. To address implicit bias in support of health equity, we have developed resources for physicians and other healthcare providers. These resources allow participants to examine implicit bias in healthcare settings, understand how it contributes to health disparities, and learn practical strategies for mitigating the effects. Visit our Implicit Bias Education page for on-demand learning modules, live learning events, or to book an implicit bias workshop for your organization.
CORE is a series of safe and respectful virtual space for physicians to discuss anti-racism, implicit bias, cultural humility, and other topics related to health equity. Each session is a 1-hour facilitated dialogue based on curated content, providing a forum for critical reflection on these issues. Participants will be equipped with the tools to continue these conversations and work toward making Minnesota health care an inclusive environment for all. For more information and to register, please visit our Conversations on Race & Equity page.
The MMA recently completed a historical inquiry to identify, understand, and address past injustices perpetrated by our organization. This was a component of our efforts to dismantle structural racism, by acknowledging wrongs that have been done. This work helped to promote acknowledgement of problematic moments and trends in the history of the MMA, but in addition to looking back, it also helped to inform our commitment to creating change going forward. We released a special Health Equity issue, which includes the full report on the findings of the inquiry.