This digital publication was developed under the direction and sponsorship of Biogen.

Health Equity Disparities

Reducing health care disparities is a major goal of public health. In this video roundtable series, Fernando X. Cuascut, MD, MPH; Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, FAAN; and Sanne Franzen, PhD, discuss disparities in the delivery of health care across various patient populations and the need to understand differences in terminology, training in the social aspects of medicine, and cultural competence as a necessary component of effective health care delivery.

Video 1: Health Equity Definitions

The panelists begin by defining key terms such as disparities, inequalities, equity, and the differences between vulnerable, underserved, and underrepresented populations. They go on to discuss the importance of social determinants of health in patient interactions for improving overall outcomes and reducing health care disparities.

Video 2: Unconscious Bias

In this video, the panelists recognize the ubiquity of unconscious bias, which can influence key decisions in selection, recruitment, and promotion of personnel as well as contribute to poorer patient outcomes. The panel went on to discuss tools to assess bias, such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT), in addition to outlining steps to mitigate the negative effects of unconscious bias.

Video 3: Cultural Competence

In this final segment, the panel discusses the need for cultural competence to meet social, cultural, and linguistic needs as patient demographics change. They outline ways to improve, including preparing and developing the workforce to treat and reflect diverse populations as well as recruiting varied populations in research and clinical trials. hese measures have shown to positively affect patients’ experience with health care, including improved outcomes and overall safety.

Video 1: Health Equity Definitions

The panelists begin by defining key terms such as disparities, inequalities, equity, and the differences between vulnerable, underserved, and underrepresented populations. They go on to discuss the importance of social determinants of health in patient interactions for improving overall outcomes and reducing health care disparities.

About the Panel

Fernando X. Cuascut, MD, MPH Photo

Fernando X. Cuascut, MD, MPH

  • Assistant Professor of Neurology
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Director
  • Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at Harris Health
  • Houston, TX
Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, FAAN Photo

Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, FAAN

  • Founder & CEO
  • Joi Life Wellness Neurology Center
  • Atlanta, GA
Sanne Franzen, PhD, Photo

Sanne Franzen, PhD, (she/her)

  • Neuropsychologist
  • Erasmus University Medical Center – Alzheimer’s Center
  • Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Disclosures

Fernando X. Cuascut, MD, MPH, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
Participation in scientific advisory boards for Biogen INC, Genentech Foundation, and Horizon Pharma.
Research funding from Genentech Foundation.

Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, FAAN, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
Research Support: EMD Serono; Genentech; and Novartis Advisory Committee
Consultant: AbbVie; Biogen Idec; Bristol Myers Squibb; EMD Serono; Genentech; Novartis; Sanofi Genzyme, Janssen, Alexion, TG Therapeutics Speaker Bureau: AbbVie; Biogen Idec; Bristol Myers Squibb; EMD Serono; Genentech; Novartis; Sanofi Genzyme, Janssen.

Sanne Franzen, PhD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.