Leading the Conversation on Health Equity

The path to health equity is not a new story. It has been a deeply rooted issue that has persisted for generations and remains at the core of the missions of many healthcare organizations today. From addressing disparities in healthcare access and quality to health outcomes among various racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups to how the COVID-19 pandemic magnified the issue, the need for action is more urgent today than ever before. But with so many organizations, public health advocates, policymakers and health influencers talking about it, is there still an opportunity to build meaningful and distinguishable thought leadership around it?

While it seems like everyone in the healthcare industry is talking about health equity, we must recognize that not all conversations are equal. Some are driven by genuine commitment, backed by real action and investment, while others might appear to be “lip service.” And although it seems like the industry is saturated with points of view from individuals and organizations alike, there is still plenty of room to be part of the conversation in an authentic and ownable way. But to do so, one must understand the role that health equity plays in a communications strategy and how the story has and will continue to evolve, as well as embrace some best practices in telling an impactful story.

Talking About Health Equity Is Good For Business

In the world of healthcare communications today, having a clear and ownable point-of-view on health equity is a necessity for healthcare organizations and their leaders. Prioritizing health equity as a story pillar not only offers an opportunity to build thought leadership, but more importantly helps drive real business impact, including:

The Next Chapter for Health Equity

The current health equity narrative is multifaceted, focused on themes ranging from socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and gender disparities to access to education and advocacy to diverse representation among healthcare professionals and the healthcare workforce, and more.

As we look to the future, the health equity conversation is poised to evolve, with emerging topics coming to the forefront, including:

Building Health Equity Thought Leadership With Impact

With so many healthcare organizations and experts competing for share of voice in the health equity conversation, building a thought leadership program on the topic requires a strategic approach that takes into account several core tenets:

At a time when healthcare is at the center of the political landscape, policy discussions, the economic climate and the news agenda, the need to address health equity has never been more critical. Healthcare organizations, including pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, hospitals, health tech firms and nonprofits, have a unique opportunity to play a pivotal role in shaping the narrative around health equity. By telling stories that humanize their missions, build trust and inspire action, they can drive meaningful change – ultimately contributing to a legacy of equity and inclusivity in healthcare that will benefit generations to come.

This article originally appeared in O’Dwyer’s, October 2023 – The Healthcare Issue.

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