Metro Health addresses health inequities in video series

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Metro Health has launched a new video series that educates the public on health inequities.

The five videos feature Metro Health’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dr. Rhae-Ann Booker covering the topics of health inequities, economic impact, building a culture of equity, xenophobia and preparing for the future.

“We have five videos that really speak to inequities that existed prior to COVID-19, that have been further exposed during COVID-19 and hopefully we’ll be able to positively impact beyond COVID-19,” Booker told News 8. “There’s a rich history behind these disparities and they are rooted in a system. A system of injustice, a system of racism, a system of bias that makes some people, some groups, some populations more vulnerable than others.”

The videos aim at empowering people to recognize disparities certain communities face as a significant problem — like the disproportionate impact the virus has had on communities of color — even if the impact isn’t felt personally.

“I find our default is to point the finger at the other and to almost be dismissive even when it’s clear and glaring in the data,” Booker explained. “A lot of times that dismissal is because there’s no quick answer. There’s no one solution. We can’t put a Band-Aid on this.”

She said everyone has a personal responsibility to help address these issues.

“I’m speaking to actions, behaviors, policies and practices that are more fair, that are more just and that respond to the uniqueness of individuals,” Booker said. “Solutions that lead to equitable treatment of all people. And lastly, I would love to see us as organizations, as a community, as a nation and beyond to hold one another accountable.”

You can watch the videos on Metro Health’s website.