ROCHESTER, Minn. - Mayo Clinic doctors are raising awareness about the health care disparities that impact minority groups in the U.S.
The pandemic has disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minority communities in several ways. Discrimination, a lack of health care and wealth gaps all contribute to health inequities. The mortality rate among Black people with COVID-19 is more than three times as high as that of white people. That's according to the CDC.
Dr. Sharonne Hayes explained she's learning, among other things, more and more illnesses are being caused by patients having poor access to safe housing. "What mother chose to live in an unhealthy environment? She did not," Dr. Hayes said. "There are generations and generations of reasons that her people and her family were not allowed to buy or rent in places that were safer."
Dr. Chyke Doubeni said it's their job to meet the needs of underserved communities. "We need to look at how we create structures to meet people where they are and the technology exists for us to do so," he explained. "We need to change our mindset from 'we'll build it and they will come' to a mindset where we reach people where they are."
A workgroup was formed by the Minnesota Department of Health to come up with ways to increase COVID-19 testing in underserved communities, as well as pushing for more vaccinations there. It's part of Governor Walz's Community Resilience and Recovery group to make sure communities of color are not impacted by COVID-19 more than others in the state.