Addressing Ethnic Health Disparities With Vision and Values

Telehealth offers health care consumers greater convenience and the chance to save money -- but it only works if the provider speaks the patient’s language. To that end, Mercer has formed an alliance with ConsejoSano to bring telehealth services to the Spanish-speaking population. ConsejoSano provides consumers with instantaneous access to Spanish-speaking doctors, mental health specialists, and nutritionists.

Many groups have been looking at the health differences between racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups:

On the plus side, there’s growing recognition of the importance of supporting these unique segments within our population. Interestingly, the conversations around diversity and inclusion within the workplace are starting to transform into diversity and innovation:

  • The first phrase within Apple’s Diversity vision states that “Inclusion inspires innovation.”
  • Merck’s Center of Talent Innovation recently reported that companies that attach a high degree of importance to diversity are demonstrably more innovative than companies with a more homogeneous workforce.
  • Harvard Business Review reported on two types of diversity classifications: inherent (such as gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation) and acquired (such as the experience of living in another country). Companies/leaders with at least three inherent and three acquired diversity traits showed 45% greater likelihood for market-share growth.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Global Head of Research & Development, Martin Fitchet, has presented on his viewpoints that diversity and innovation are inseparably linked, which dovetails with J&J’s mission to cultivate a diverse workforce and unleash innovative thinking.

Has your organization recognized that ethnic/racial health disparities exist, and thought about a response? Framing the conversation in terms of diversity and innovation might clarify the business case for action.

Chris Chan
by Chris Chan

Principal, Innovation LABS, Mercer

Chris is a Principal and Innovation Imagineer with Mercer’s Health Innovation LABS, where he helps build creative solutions that complement employers’ health and welfare benefits programs. He focuses on developing strategies and products through the use of human-centered design, machine learning, consumer data insights and creating customer delight. Chris graduated from the University of California with a degree in neurobiology.

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