Physicians and medical practitioners discussing diversity at work

Blue Cross Starts Statewide Physician Diversity Council  

As a part of our ongoing efforts to promote equity in health care outcomes for all Michigan residents, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is excited about the launch of our Physician Diversity Council made up of physicians and other health care professionals from across the state.  

The council first met in November with a founding group of 18 members from inside and outside of Blue Cross.  

“Physicians, nurses and other key professionals are a critical component to building equity into health outcomes,” said Dr. James Grant, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Blue Cross. “We are honored to have this founding group of partners on our Physician Diversity Council that represent many different respected medical societies and communities.”  

The Physician Diversity Council will address bias, health equity, representation in the provider community, cultural competency, gaps in resources and access for providers serving underserved communities – as well as other issues that influence health care access, quality and outcomes.  

Blue Cross has taken a systemic approach to building equity into health outcomes, using data and analytics to guide initiatives, including community investments and health screening and outreach services as well as evaluating policies and processes. More recently, Blue Cross has led the way and offered unconscious bias education to providers across Michigan.  

“As we continue to evolve our health equity strategy, it is exciting to launch the Physician Diversity Council,” said Bridget Hurd, vice president of Inclusion and Diversity at Blue Cross. “This council will hear the voices of our partners and facilitate a path that we can take together to address health and health care disparities and other inequities as it relates to health care quality, access and social determinants of health.” 

Providers on the council said addressing health and health care disparities can be challenging because of issues gathering data, trying to coordinate services or juggling too many priorities when trying to care for patients – but at the same time, health disparities, social determinants of health and cultural competency are top issues in their practices and organizations. 

The council will also seek out ways to support health care professionals in their work to develop health equity strategies, and to find tangible ways to make a difference in the lives of their patients.  

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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