For many Michiganders there is a massive gap somewhere between the dream and the reality of health care delivery. The growing disparities in health across diverse communities was the center of attention at Let’s Talk Health, a recent gathering of people from health care organizations, human service agencies and community stakeholders that was sponsored by BCBSM and Seeds of Promise, a Grand Rapids-based advocacy organization.
Bridging the Access Gap
By now, many Americans recognize there’s a dangerous health gap that exists between different races. And many of those at the Grand Rapids gathering put some troubling specifics to the general unease about that gap. For instance, they know that:
- If you’re African-American, you’re 70 percent more likely to develop diabetes.
- The death rate for black infants is 2.3 times higher than that of white babies.
- African-Americans, while 20 percent of the population, make up 55 percent of all HIV or AIDS cases.
Engaging Community in Better Health
At Let’s Talk Health, community and faith-based leaders, health care providers, and representatives from dozens of other groups spoke about community health status, access to care, and how to improve both. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan committed to help bridge the access gap and improve health for everyone throughout the state by bringing together community partners and developing strategies to address specific community needs.
Collaborating to Find Solutions
Here at Blue Cross, we are proud to partner with organizations like Seeds of Promise and champion the open dialogue that took place at the Let's Talk Health event. Through our partnerships with community organizations and other strategic initiatives, we are working harder than ever to help increase the access and quality of health care throughout the state of Michigan for all of its residents. Knowing the health disparities that exist in our state, where do you believe the solutions lie? Photo Credit: cmh2315fl