The New England Chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) recently hosted a webinar to examine health equity among Black Americans. Four experts joined the online discussion, titled “Speaker Series: Health Care Disparities in the Asthma and Allergy Community.”
The panel looked at how these factors affect health equity:
Asthma Disparities in America
The burden of asthma in the U.S. falls disproportionately on Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native people. These groups have the highest asthma rates, deaths, and hospital stays. AAFA’s Asthma Disparities in America report looks at how asthma affects these groups in the United States. In the report, AAFA outlines key strategies to address the topics discussed in the video clips below.
The panel of experts included:
- Raolat Abdulai, MD, MM Sc, Global Clinical Lead for the Immunology and Inflammation Division for
- Margee Louisias, MD, MPH, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Lakiea Wright, MD, MAT MPH, Associate Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Allergy and Immunology, and Medical Director of U.S. Clinical Affairs in the Immuno-Diagnostics Division at Thermo Fischer Scientific
- Jorge Rodriguez, MD, board-certified internist and Clinician-Investigator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Below are some excerpts from the discussion.
What Is a Health Disparity?
Addressing health disparities is a key part in AAFA’s goal to reduce the harm and unequal burden of asthma on minority groups. The expert panel defines health disparities and gives examples that exist in the United States.
What Is Structural Racism, and How Does It Contribute to Health Disparities?
Drs. Wright and Louisias talk about structural racism in the U.S. and why we need change to achieve health equity.
What Is the Role of Environmental Exposures on Health Disparities?
Racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. have more exposure to environmental triggers, like air pollution. Experts review environmental asthma triggers and their role in health disparities.
What Is the Role of Nutrition and Food Insecurity in Asthma and Allergies?
Experts talk about what role nutrition plays in developing asthma and allergies. They also look at how food insecurity – a lack of access to healthy, allergy-friendly food – affects people with food allergies.
Why Is It Important for Communities of Color and Different Ethnic Groups to Participate in Clinical Trials?
Dr. Abdulai talks about the history of clinical trials and why we need Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous Americans to take part in them.
How Do We Eliminate Health Disparities and Achieve Justice, and What Is Justice Vs. Equality?
Experts review strategies to get rid of health disparities and achieve health equity in the United States.
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