Health Equity and Anti-Racism Report: HEAR 2021

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Wexner Medical Center

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The events of 2020 magnified the existing health disparities and racial inequality in America in a way that cannot be ignored. Through the lens of COVID-19, we saw Black and indigenous people of color die at alarmingly higher rates than those from other racial and ethnic groups. The same populations were more likely to live in unsafe and overcrowded housing, work in essential infrastructure jobs in which they were unable to safely distance from others, and lack access to potentially lifesaving services and treatments. Such inequities are not new. They have been documented for centuries. But we believe that we can be part of the solution. For decades, Ohio State has been committed to serving populations made vulnerable in our community and beyond, improving access to care and helping individuals reach their optimal health not just through clinical care, but also by addressing the social determinants that we know have enormous impact on health outcomes. The initiatives you’re about to read about in this report are part of our efforts to correct systems of inequity and heal the damage caused by injustice. The Ohio State experts and pioneers behind these programs are creating significant, lasting change in central Ohio and beyond. And this is just the beginning. As our inaugural health equity and anti-racism report, this publication will show just a fraction of what our teams have achieved through partnering with our community this year, introduce some of the programs that have long been part of Ohio State’s legacy of caring for its neighbors, and highlight areas in which we hope to improve and have a sustainable impact. More stories about Ohio State’s efforts in these areas will be continue to be added to our websites, including on our anti-racism initiatives page at