On May 26, 2022, members from the Connections IN Health coalition, Cardiovascular and Diabetes Coalition of Indiana, community partners and stakeholders from across Indiana had an opportunity to learn from Dr. Jerome Adams at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, Indiana. A licensed anesthesiologist, presidential fellow and current Executive Director of Purdue’s Health Equity Initiatives, Dr. Adams served as the 20th U.S. Surgeon General. As a prior member of the President’s Coronavirus task force, he has been involved in many health challenges the United States is facing. Dr. Adams spoke about the lack of health equity and the need to reform health care. Today, the average person in the U.S. pays about $10,000 per year in health care costs, but the outcomes are still some of the worst in the world. Despite having top quality healthcare providers, resources and technology, there are major barriers to access for the average citizen that need to be addressed. This is why health inequity, not health inequality, was the topic of the day. Equity means that everyone is given ample opportunity to reach the same success.
To address some of these inequities, Dr. Jerome Adams created three major calls to action, listed below, which he discussed extensively during the fireside chat.
Control Hypertension – Dr. Adams emphasized the need for hypertension control. Hypertension is a leading cause of death for Americans, but it is also preventable. In hopes of raising awareness for the issue and ultimately lowering the rates of hypertension, he outlined three goals.
● Goal 1. Make hypertension control a national priority.
● Goal 2. Ensure that the places where people live, learn, work and play support hypertension control.
● Goal 3. Optimize patient care for hypertension.
Improve Maternal Health – Maternal health issues brought Dr. Adams to the topic of institutionalized racism in the United States healthcare system. Black women are more likely to die during childbirth than white women, and not due to genetic or economic factors. More awareness needs to be raised, along with information provided to the public. The call to action outlined on the HHS website helps explain what steps can be taken to improve maternal health in the United States.
Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention – The strategies outlined in this call to action will help the nation come together to support one another. Dr. Adams talked about the difficult times contributing to the increasing rates of suicide and what we can do to support prevention.
Dr. Jerome Adams is a true public health advocate his passion continues to show through his work. The Cardiovascular & Diabetes Coalition of Indiana (CADI) thanks Dr. Adams once more for the insightful and informative conversation he was able to provide. You can view the recording for the event at this link. For more resources and information, contact the Cardiovascular and Diabetes Coalition of Indiana lead, Aliya Amin at firstname.lastname@example.org.