The New York-based Mount Sinai Health System has launched the Institute for Health Equity Research, which will be dedicated to studying healthcare disparities and testing solutions for improvement initiatives.
In a separate statement, Mount Sinai also announced the opening of its new Center for Post-COVID Care to provide post-multidisciplinary care and psychosocial resources for patients recovering from COVID-19.
WHY IT MATTERS
IHER is tasked with identifying the root causes and magnitude of healthcare disparities, devising and testing innovative solutions, and taking concrete action in response to the findings.
The organization will address health issues affecting at-risk communities, including people of color, low-income individuals, immigrants, uninsured people and LGBTQ people. Its initiatives will encompass those of all ages, genders and abilities.
One of IHER’s first projects is an 11-language survey, “Speak Up on COVID-19,” conducted in partnership with more than 100 New York City community organizations.
The survey will explore medical, demographic and social determinants, along with COVID-19-related attitudinal, behavioral and psychological factors. It also aims to capture risks and needs and to link vulnerable populations with resources that sustain physical and mental health.
Former NBA star Earvin “Magic” Johnson, New York State Sen. Brian Benjamin and Royalty Pharma founder and CEO Pablo Legorreta are among the members of the IHER task force.
Meanwhile, Mount Sinai’s new Center for Post-COVID Care will include a COVID-19 Registry. Participating patients will undergo a baseline survey to collect data including sociodemographics, comorbidities, mental health conditions and medications.
The Center will also offer patients personalized treatment plans that use advanced diagnostic tools and innovative treatment protocols from relevant medical specialties.
Overall, the Center will gather data to support a broad spectrum of biomedical research, including benchtop science, epidemiology, health services and outcomes.
One of its chief goals is to translate insights gained through disease research into better treatments for the wide spectrum of effects that the novel coronavirus has on the human body.
“COVID-19 will be with us for years to come, and this Center will ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of their disease state or socioeconomic status, will be able to get the comprehensive, expert care they need for this complex disease,” Dr. Kenneth Davis, Mount Sinai Health System president and CEO, said in a statement.
THE LARGER TREND
The pandemic has put a spotlight on social determinants and health inequities, indicating that access to a complete picture of the patient – including the behavioral and environmental factors that influence daily health – is critical to realizing the shared benefits of value-based, holistic care.
The newly created Indiana Network for Population Health is aiming to securely exchange information on factors that affect population health and healthcare delivery, while clinical AI vendor Jvion recently unveiled a COVID Community Vulnerability Map.
ON THE RECORD
“The war against this pandemic and the threat to underserved communities is great,” said Mount Sinai President for Academic Affairs Dr. Dennis S. Charney, in a statement. “We will not rest until we defeat it on many fronts: scientific, clinical and public health.”
Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: [email protected]
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