Recognizing National Minority Health Month
Health equity is at the heart of everything we do at Hunter Health. As we recognize National Minority Health Month, we want to emphasize the importance of ensuring that everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or socio-economic background, has access to quality healthcare. In this blog, we will discuss the key ways Hunter Health provides care for all, highlight our diverse patient population through our data, and explore how National Minority Health Month serves as a reminder to reaffirm our commitment to health equity for all.
Health Equity: The Foundation of Hunter Health
At Hunter Health, our primary mission is to promote health equity within our community. Founded in 1976 as a clinic focused on caring for Wichita’s Native American community, we have evolved to providing care for all, and are dedicated to addressing health disparities and ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve optimal health.
Tara Nolen, Hunter Health’s Community Health Manager, says, “Health equity is the foundation of our work at Hunter Health. It is our responsibility to remove barriers to care and create a more inclusive healthcare environment that meets the unique needs of our diverse patient population.”
By offering a range of services including medical, dental, behavioral, vision, and pharmacy, we provide flexible solutions and healthcare education tailored to each person’s needs.
“By placing patients in the center of the circle of care, we are better equipped to provide comprehensive, individualized care to everyone, regardless of their background or status, and make a tangible difference in the lives of our diverse patient population,” she says.
Providing care to everyone is beneficial for multiple reasons:
- Improved community health: When all members of the community have access to quality healthcare, the overall health of the community improves.
- Reduced health disparities: Focusing on health equity helps reduce disparities in health outcomes and access to care among different population groups. By targeting underserved populations and addressing their specific needs, we contribute to a more equitable and just society.
- Economic benefits: When people receive the care they need, they are more likely to maintain good health, be productive, and participate in the local economy. This benefits not only them, but the community as a whole.
- Social cohesion: Providing healthcare for everyone helps create a sense of community and social cohesion. When everyone has access to healthcare, it fosters a shared understanding that we are all in this together, promoting unity and inclusivity.
- Health system efficiency: Ensuring access to care for everyone can reduce the strain on emergency rooms and other healthcare facilities, as people with chronic conditions receive the preventive care they need. This leads to a more efficient and effective healthcare system.
Our Commitment to Inclusivity and Affordability
Our dedication to care for allis demonstrated through our efforts to:
Serve a diverse patient population: Our patient data from the past year showcases our inclusivity, as we have served individuals from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. The breakdown of patients served by race and ethnicity is as follows:
- Asian: 339
- Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander: 129
- Black/African American: 2,569
- American Indian/Alaska Native: 1,711
- White: 7,011
- More than one race: 512
- Unreported/Chose not to disclose race: 3,394
- Total patients served: 15,665 (4,628 of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity)
- Offer affordable healthcare options: Hunter Health is committed to providing affordable healthcare services to our community, ensuring everyone has access to the care they need. We work with patients to help them understand their insurance options, offer a sliding fee scale based on income and family size, and provide financial assistance when needed.
- Collaborate with community organizations: We partner with local organizations to deliver tailored outreach programs, such as health education events, preventative care screenings, and vaccine clinics. These programs are designed to address the specific needs of our community members and bridge the gap between healthcare and underserved populations.
National Minority Health Month: A Time to Reaffirm Our Commitment
National Minority Health Month serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing health disparities and working towards quality care for all.
“National Minority Health Month is an opportunity to strengthen our values of health equity and inclusion,” Tara says. “We want to continue empowering our patients to make health decisions that best suit their needs and in turn, create a healthier, more vibrant community for all.”
Hunter Health is making a tangible difference in the lives of our diverse patient population. As we observe National Minority Health Month and look forward to the rest of 2023, we only plan to continue to create a more equitable healthcare environment that benefits everyone in our community.