Speaker: William Tierney, MD; Host: Bioethics and Subject Advocacy Program
The HERE series features IUCB faculty and outside experts applying an ethics lens to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Speakers will explore contemporary DEI topics in health and research using diverse ethical perspectives, including feminist ethics, narrative ethics, human rights frameworks, critical race theory, or other approaches. These talks are meant to be explorations of DEI that can broaden and deepen our understanding of methodology and theory in bioethics, and thus deepen our appreciation for problems and ways forward in equity and diversity.
Our third speaker is William Tierney, MD. Dr. Tierney is Associate Dean for Population Health & Health Outcomes for the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. He is also a Professor in the Departments of Population Health, Internal Medicine, and Oncology at the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School where, from 2015 to 2020, he served as Founding Chair of its Department of Population Health. From 1980 to 2015, Dr. Tierney was a faculty member of the Indiana University School of Medicine where he served as Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Associate Dean for Clinical Effectiveness Research, Chief of Medicine at Wishard/Eskenazi Health, and President and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute. Dr. Tierney’s research focuses on improving health care delivery and its outcomes through developing and implementing electronic health record systems and health information exchanges in hospital and outpatient venues in Indiana and in East Africa and using the data and connections to clinicians to improve the quality of care.
Dr. Tierney will present The Role of Clinicians and Health Systems in Caring for Community Health as the third lecture in the HERE series. Well-established research has shown that social factors (income, transportation, housing, food access, and where you live) have a much greater impact on health outcomes (how long you live and the quality of your life) than clinical care. Yet in the U.S., unlike other wealthy countries, we spend much more on health care than social care and as a result have among the worst health outcomes. Recent research has shown that meeting patients’ social needs (e.g. food and housing) can not only improve their well-being but also lower overall health care costs. Dr. Tierney will discuss a model of primary care that incorporates social care by having a primary care health center in a low-income area take responsibility for the neighborhood in which it lives.