AdventHealth to use grant money to help address equitable health care in minority communities

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Central Florida has seen firsthand the disparities the coronavirus pandemic has made clear in our minority communities.

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Now, help is coming.

Vice President Kamala Harris announced a historic $1.5 billion investment to enhance equitable health care in all communities.

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The money is a direct response to the recommendations from the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and will further the work already underway in Central Florida.

The director of that task force said while the pandemic has made us crucially aware of the skewed toll on communities of color and other underserved populations, there has never been a time in which these communities have not suffered disproportionate burdens of death and disease.

Shortly after COVID-19 was first identified, health equity was brought to the forefront, and we began seeing disparities among minority communities in testing, cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

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The White House launched a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force as part of a government-wide effort to identify and eliminate health and social disparities.

The report recently presented to the White House recommends the administration invest in community-led solutions, enforce a data ecosystem for equity-driven decision-making and more.

AdventHealth received a $2 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to address health inequities across racial and ethnic populations in Central Florida, a data-driven undertaking.

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AdventHealth Chief Health Equity Officer Dr. Alric Simmons said the two-year funding will hopefully create a bridge to health equity as well as create policy and practice changes in the health care system.

AdventHealth will also implement implicit bias training for health care providers.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.