Why Does Health Equity Matter to You?

Don Berwick, MD, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at IHI

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

This is the seventh video in an 8-part series. Click here to watch the next video and learn about how providers create health equity.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:

  • Describe what health care providers can and can’t do to address patients’ health needs.
  • Discuss a story of a patient who died young despite excellent health care.

Description: Don Berwick, MD, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at IHI, sat down with David R. Williams, Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, to discuss health equity. In this video, Berwick explains why health equity matters to him and tells a story about how he was unable to save a patient from early death despite providing excellent clinical care.

Watch the full conversation on YouTube.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you define the term, “social justice”? Do you feel that social justice is part of the mission of health care?
  2. What is your reaction to Berwick’s story about the patient who he helped cure of leukemia but who died an early death anyway?
  3. What do you think the story reveals about the health care system or society more broadly?
  4. Why do you think the leukemia patient blamed himself? Do you think he was to blame or that disparities were to blame?
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