Main Line Health Hosts Ninth Annual – and First Virtual – Healthcare Disparities Colloquium

Mark Hostutler
Image via Main Line Health.

Main Line Health hosted its ninth annual – and first virtual – Healthcare Disparities Colloquium last Friday. Each year, employees from across Main Line Health join community leaders and healthcare partners to discuss research, initiatives, and ideas that will allow us to address disparities in care and better serve patients.

“Each year, we are proud to present this information to the team across Main Line Health and to leaders in our region,” said Jack Lynch, President and CEO of Main Line Health. “This is a true demonstration of Main Line Health’s collective dedication to identifying and addressing disparities in care and our commitment to advancing an environment of cultural competence and universal respect.”

This year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the topics discussed during the Colloquium included the disparities among those diagnosed with COVID-19, including percentages of those admitted to Main Line Health based on race, age, and other social determinants of health.

Additionally, CEOs from hospitals in the region participated in a discussion about the disparities faced at each of their organizations. They included Kevin B. Mahoney, CEO of University of Pennsylvania Health System; James Woodward, President and CEO of Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic; and Dr. Stephen Klasko, President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health. This was followed by a session focused on disparities in health across the nation, with shared perspectives from speakers Dr. David A. Ansell of Rush University in Chicago and Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

“I am incredibly grateful to each of our presenters this year who made our Colloquium so impactful,” said Dr. Barry Mann, Chief Academic Officer, Main Line Health. “Each year, we work to identify disparities and to eliminate them. This year’s Colloquium brought unique challenges and a sharpened focus for us in light of COVID-19. We are all pledged to work towards the amelioration of the disparities identified through the blight of this pandemic.”

A focus on Together for West Philadelphia rounded out the final session of this year’s Colloquium, with an update to the group about steps the organization is taking to provide virtual services to the community members of West Philadelphia in light of COVID-19. Dr. Deon Vigilance, Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic and Penn Medicine, and Rev. Donald Moore of Mount Carmel Baptist Church shared that Together for West Philadelphia – a collaboration of organizations to improve the health, education, and opportunity for West Philadelphia community members – introduced a new “Helping Hubs” project.

Through this project, residents can connect to resources like nutritious food accesses, housing, childcare, and preventative healthcare services through partner “Trusted Venues,” including Spectrum Community Health Center, Calvary Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Masjid Quba, and Grace Lutheran Church, as well as several community-based organizations and schools. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Main Line Health and its partners are working to ensure that these vulnerable residents have access to care and can find assistance with basic needs. To learn how the Helping Hubs project is poised to serve residents, watch this video.

U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans demonstrated his continued support of Main Line Health and Together for West Philadelphia through his closing remarks of this year’s Colloquium.

“I appreciate the continued commitment of Main Line Health and the Together for West Philadelphia partners to addressing health disparities,” he said. “I believe this effort can serve as a model for other parts of the city such as North and Southwest Philadelphia.”