Friday, April 18, 2014

The road to health equity

 ON THE FRONT LINES: Haddad and Rosenbaum

“A lawyer’s skills are not unlike a physician’s skills. You have to diagnose a problem and treat it,” said Sara Rosenbaum, JD, Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services Department of Health Policy. Rosenbaum, a guest speaker at the MGH’s Ernest M. Haddad Lecture in Law and Ethics, presented a lecture, “Early News from the Front Lines on the Road to Health Equity,” highlighting challenges faced by regions of the country where large portions of the population are uninsured.  

Named in honor of Ernest M. Haddad, who served for 21 years as general counsel for the MGH and Partners HealthCare, the annual lecture features speakers who are experts on topics related to ethics and conduct in the health care environment.

“Much has been written and spoken about the regions in the United States where folks experience high levels of poverty or poor health, or opposition to government support of health care or voter suppression,” said Haddad. “Sara presented powerful hard data in great graphics that demonstrate how closely these geographies overlap.”

Rosenbaum’s lecture outlined her belief that there is no easy answer to the health care crisis and ongoing legal battles in the Supreme Court about the Affordable Care Act. “The answer doesn’t lie in what we can do to improve health,” said Rosenbaum. “It’s one thing in 1965 to sit around and let states decide who should have health care and quite another in 2014 to offer health care and wait around for states to come on board.”

More than 100 MGH staff attended the April 3 lecture in the O’Keeffe Auditorium, hosted by the Mongan Institute for Health Policy.

Read more articles from the 04/18/14 Hotline issue.


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