PCOM Joins Partner Orgs for New Approach to Health InequalityMarch 16, 2022
Collaboration brings together organizations from across the region to drive change.
Philadelphia 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
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
Founded in 1899, 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 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, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
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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