Addressing disparities to prevent disease

Dec 22, 2020 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (2)


Several communities and populations are underserved by the U.S. health care system. There are many reasons for this, including differences in risk incidence, morbidity and mortality due to social, economic and structural factors. And the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed these health care inequities.

"The term health care equity actually implies justice and fairness, as well as intentional action," says Dr. Chyke Doubeni, director of Mayo Clinic's Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research. "So, as a matter of fact, inequities stem from injustices and failures to act. As a society, we have to address this. These are things that are fixable."

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Doubeni discusses strategies to eliminate health care disparities in underserved populations and how Mayo Clinic is reaching out to communities.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Connect with others talking about the pandemic and supporting one another in the COVID-19 support group.

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and



I applaud your focus on the poor and underserved, however there are millions of working people who can not afford health insurance. Even if their employer contributes something. Premiums are outrageous with high deductables and co-pays, for all practical purposes they do not have useable insurance. It is strictly catastrophic insurance. So millions of people figure whats the point in spending thousands on something I hopefully won't need. There should be a focus on these poor and underserved folks as well.


The whole gambit of health is a problem for poor, low income through the middle class. Mental health, dental, vision and medical. The cost for even preventive care is not within reach for lots of middle-class families.

Please sign in or register to post a reply.