Promoting COVID-19 Prevention and Supporting BIPOC Communities During Minority Health Month
21 April 2022
Providence Health Plan (PHP) is committed to reducing health disparities and achieving health equity through resources and outreach programs
April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM), a time dedicated to raising awareness about the health disparities that continue to impact racial and ethnic minority groups.
Health inequity has been an ongoing challenge for the healthcare industry, and more organizations including Providence Health Plan (PHP) are prioritizing solutions and initiatives to lessen the care gap. This year’s NMHM theme is “Giving Your Community A Boost,” empowering members of the BIPOC community to learn about and receive a COVID-19 booster shot.
Providing Ongoing COVID-19 Support
Throughout the pandemic, the BIPOC community was disproportionately affected by the virus, with Black Americans and members of the Latinx community being 2.5 times more likely to die from COVID-19. To help stop the spread of the virus, Providence Health Plan pursued several initiatives to support COVID-19 efforts in these communities in Oregon and Washington state. Providence’s Care Management team provided members with fact-based information on COVID-19 vaccines and offered free rides to and from vaccination appointments for Medicare members, making the experience as hassle-free as possible.
Vaccines offer the most protection from the coronavirus, with research showing booster shots provide even more protection against the emerging variants. Over the last two years, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died due to COVID-19, and many are dealing with the long-term side effects of the virus. Each emerging variant is proving more transmissible than the last, and the only way to ensure you have the highest level of protection is by getting a booster - and even a second booster - if you’re eligible. We remain focused on encouraging all members to do their part and get boosted to protect themselves and their communities. Please check out our Coronavirus Hub, which is continually updated with the latest information on the virus and vaccine options.
PHP’s Commitment to Health Equity
PHP is committed to reducing health disparities and achieving health equity. Together, with our integrated delivery network, we have dedicated resources to address these issues and are challenging the industry to demonstrate compassion, justice, and health for all. A few of the ways we do this is by:
Supporting those with Chronic Diseases
Although chronic diseases impact all patient populations, there’s a strong tie between chronic diseases such as diabetes, and BIPOC or underserved communities. To support members with chronic diseases and complex health conditions, the Providence Care Management team offers personalized support to help members navigate their diagnosis and treatment options.
To better understand the inequalities that existed in seeking diabetes treatment, PHP conducted a diabetes intervention with BIPOC members. When the team found the main barriers for proper treatment were related to transportation and language, we were able to use this information to determine what we needed to do to better support BIPOC members with diabetes.
Promoting Patient-Provider Trust
A trusted patient-provider relationship is an important element to a member’s health care experience. Patients who believe their provider understands their background and can be empathetic are more inclined to be honest and open regarding their health and treatment needs. PHP’s Provider Directory allows members to search for providers and mental health experts based on criteria such as race, cultural background, religion, gender identification and sexual orientation.
Doing Your Part to Support BIPOC Communities
This National Minority Health Month, we encourage you to do your part by sharing information on the importance of booster shots on your social media channels and ensuring that your friends and family in the BIPOC community have access to these resources. Consider donating blood, which can be another great way to support those in minority communities who suffer from chronic conditions that require blood transfusions, such as sickle cell disease. You can also volunteer for community health events that promote health equity by raising awareness on specific health conditions and care options. Learn more ways that you can support BIPOC communities this NMHM here.