PCOM Joins Partner Orgs for New Approach to Health Inequality
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PCOM Joins Partner Orgs for New Approach to Health Inequality

March 16, 2022

Accelerate Health Equity: Working Together for a Healthier PhiladelphiaCollaboration brings together organizations from across the region to drive change.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO ‘81Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) President and Chief Executive Officer Jay S. Feldstein, DO ‘81, joined partner organizations from across the region today to launch Accelerate Health Equity, an initiative to produce tangible improvement in health inequities, and ultimately achieve measurable, positive changes in health outcomes in Philadelphia. With the tagline “Working Together for a Healthier Philadelphia,” AmeriHealth Caritas, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia, Drexel University, Independence Blue Cross, Jefferson Health, Main Line Health, Penn Medicine, PCOM, Temple Health and Trinity Mid-Atlantic are joining forces to take a new approach to health equity.

Philadelphia has consistently ranked last out of the state’s 67 counties in County Health Rankings based on data analyzing quality of life, health factors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment. This collaboration brings together organizations who serve City residents in a joint commitment to combat systemic racism and barriers to achieving health equity. Accelerate Health Equity is digging deep into the data and shaping pilot programs to address health conditions and social determinants of health.

“As a City, we are strongest when we work together, which is why we are so pleased to work with these outstanding local organizations to lead the way to building a healthier and more equitable Philadelphia. This collaboration and ability to scale successful pilots will be vital in breaking down systemic inequities and racial disparities that have affected the health and well-being of our communities,” said Cheryl Bettigole, M.D, M.P.H, City of Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner.

Accelerate Health Equity includes three core components:

  • Launching Pilot Programs: Individual pilot programs tied to identified areas that impact health outcomes.
  • Measuring Progress: A publicly available digital health equity dashboard based on data provides an in-depth view of 16 health equity challenge areas and will also track progress of pilot programs.
  • Collaborating to Scale: Pilot programs will be evaluated and information will be disseminated to inform health and service providers and quickly scale successful pilot programs to expand their reach and impact.

It is hoped that this effort will accelerate the pace of progress. Participating organizations are working together to design measurable pilot programs to combat disparities ranging from issues like maternal morbidity and mortality; to cancer screening and prevention; to neighborhood conditions and reducing the risk of heart disease and more. These specific disparities were chosen after a review of the County Health Rankings and the Community Health Needs Assessment data and neighborhood analyses identified them as the most urgent issues.

“At Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, our commitment to health equity is holistic,” said PCOM President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO ‘81. “Our student admissions process begins with our belief in diversity, equity, and inclusion; we understand that it is more important than ever to educate a diverse healthcare team that looks like all the different patients they care for. Our commitment extends to our curriculum through which we teach—didactically and clinically—that social determinants of health have a profound effect on morbidity and mortality. And health equity lives in our PCOM Healthcare Centers where we provide access to quality health care and respond to the vital needs of our community.”

Community input and partnership will be a critical part of Accelerate Health Equity projects. Ultimately, the intent is for this work to improve the health of the region and serve as a model to help other communities.

About Accelerate Health Equity

Accelerate Health Equity is a multi-year initiative that brings together organizations across the Philadelphia region to combat systemic racism and barriers in healthcare. It’s designed to produce tangible improvement in these issues and, ultimately, positive change in health outcomes in Philadelphia. To learn more about the participating organizations, pilot programs and progress, visit www.AHEphl.org.

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About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

For the past 125 years, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM, a private, not-for-profit accredited institution of higher education, operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and school psychology. The college also offers graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, physician assistant studies, and school psychology. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

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Brandon Lausch
Executive Director, Strategic Communications
Email: brandonla@pcom.edu
Office: 215-871-6312 | Cell: 717-371-0609

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