Expert Panel on Health Equity
As defined by the CDC, health equity is the state in which all people have a fair and just opportunity to attain the highest standard of health. The Health Equity expert panel considers sociocultural perspectives and factors influencing health inequities leading to disparate physical and mental health outcomes in our work. Of particular concern are structural and systemic racism, social and structural determinants of health, and the historical and contemporary injustices that continue to impact the health status of individuals, families, communities, and populations.
Inaugural Year: 2001
Teri A. Murray, PhD, PHNA-BC, RN, ANEF, FAAN
Professor, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Dean Emerita
Reinert Center DEI Fellow
Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing
Saint Louis University
Melissa M. Gomes, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN
Board Liaison: Margaret Moss
Staff Liaison: Madeleine Rohrbach
Previous Chairs: Patricia K. Bradley (2020-2022), Cathy Meade (2019-2020), Cheryl Killion (2018-2019), Jose Alejandro (2017-2018), Mona Wicks (2016-2017), Sandra Millon Underwood (2005-2007), Ruth Davidhizar (2005-2007), Joyce Newman Giger (2002-2004)
In a pivotal report, the Institute of Medicine, (2002) concluded that cultural competence was crucial to eliminating health disparities based on race. Betancourt et al, building upon the (IOM) report, convened key informant interviews that linked poor health outcomes to the lack of cultural competencies in health care. The interviews shed light on the deficiencies in cultural competency training from a systemic perspective. From health care workers to students, a system-wide initiative is needed to address the complex health needs of ethnic minorities. Additionally, the key informants stressed the importance of the managed care industry, and educational accrediting bodies to hold their constituents culpable from a regulatory perspective and to promulgate cultural competency training as a gold standard for obtaining proficiency in health care. Hence, the mission of the Expert Panel on Cultural Competence is to develop and disseminate strategies to advance cultural competency in both academic and health care settings that measurably impact on the elimination of local and national health disparities using a systemic perspective.
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