A Decade of Difference

02 Dec 2014

The very suggestion that a patient may be treated differently based on skin color or origin is, frankly, as insulting as it is absurd. Yet we can’t deny our findings. Disparities do exist. Talking to providers about disparities and equity is not easy. In contrast, Paula Jacobs’ husband, who is white, was diagnosed with a critical illness 10 years ago, yet they have been blessed to welcome five grandchildren. In contrast, Jacobs’ friend, who was black, passed away one day after mowing the grass. He missed his children’s graduations and other important life milestones. He did not have the benefit of an extra decade. Jacobs said that if her husband were black, the odds would not have been in favor of the positive health outcome he has experienced. 

Paula Jacobs is the vice president for process improvement and innovation at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.