Healthcare Needs a Public Health Athlete on Every Team!

October 11, 2023
Brian Urban


Healthcare needs a public health athlete on every team in the fight for health equity.

The healthcare industry has recently awakened to the glaring disparities in health outcomes across different demographics, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The dire need to bridge these gaps has sparked discussions about transforming traditional healthcare models into more inclusive and equitable ones. A significant step toward this transformation is the proposed Public Health Infrastructure Saves Lives Act (PHISLA), which aims to establish a $4.5 billion fund to bolster core public health infrastructure, aiding the nation’s efforts in combating current and future public health challenges.

Amidst this landscape emerges a pertinent question: How can healthcare organizations systematically integrate expertise as a public health athlete to drive better health outcomes for all?

In the latest episode of Healthcare Rethink, a FinThrive Podcast, host Brian Urban sits down with Susan Garfield, DrPH, the Chief Public Health Officer for the Americas and Global Client Service Partner at Ernst & Young, to unravel the concept of embedding a public health athlete in every healthcare team. They venture into an enlightening discussion, shedding light on how this integration could be a game-changer in addressing health inequities and improving public health infrastructure.

Urban and Garfield’s discussion includes the following:

  • The pivotal role of a public health athlete in bridging healthcare delivery with public health goals, ensuring that services are culturally competent and accessible, and addressing the social determinants of health
  • The emergence of collaborative models where different stakeholders, including technology companies, transportation providers, and healthcare organizations, join hands to address health disparities
  • Leveraging technological advancements, like Artificial Intelligence (AI), to personalize healthcare experiences and education, thereby reducing barriers to healthcare access and understanding

Dr. Susan Garfield, a passionate health strategist, navigated a unique path from a women’s studies and English background to becoming the Chief Public Health Officer for the Americas and Global Client Service Partner at Ernst & Young. Today, she leads the Health Equity Center, advocating for multi-sectoral collaborations and technological innovations to address health disparities. Through initiatives like the EY Center for Health Equity, she’s steering organizations towards actualizing the business imperative of health equity.

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