Dr. Monica L. Baskin After 20 years of leading large-scale research programs aimed at reducing health disparities, he joined UPMC Hillman Cancer Center as Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement and Professor of Medicine in the Department of Hematology/Oncology. Did. She also serves as Vice President for Health Equity and Assistant Vice President for Community Health Equity for the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences.
Dr. Baskin is nationally recognized for his work related to health equity. She serves on the External Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Accelerating Rural Cancer Control and is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund/National Cancer Institute’s Global Expert Panel on Project Cancer Occurrence Continuing Updates. served as chairman of
We spoke to Baskin about her new role on Hillman and Pitt.
What do you see as the biggest challenges related to health equity and community outreach in the Pittsburgh area?
There is still a fair amount of racism here and a mistrust of medical care. I want to focus on how to bridge relationships that may be unformed or broken. Be clear about what you are doing and what you are not doing.
As someone skilled in understanding and advancing health equity, I am here to help determine what can be done to steer us in a better direction. One way is to listen. I want to better understand the culture and where community members believe their needs are not being listened to or addressed.
I believe that two-way communication is important. they Perception is unfair. We then conduct research to determine how we can better meet the health needs of our patients by changing our approach or adding programs to provide essential care.
What is your first step?
I’m new to Hillman, the city, and the state, so I’d love to visit the area and meet the people. To build trust across a community, you must first be trustworthy, which can lead to successful community engagement.
It is important for us to learn from our residents about their perceptions of the inequity of healthcare in their neighborhoods. While programs are in place, we need to determine if they are working and what more can be done to ensure that they address the various health needs of our communities.
As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we want to ensure that UPMC Hillman also addresses and enhances diversity within Hillman. That applies everywhere, including leadership, not just staff level. This is an important step to always address diversity issues. We want to make quality care accessible to everyone and remove the barriers to achieving it.
How do we determine health care inequalities in our communities and how do we work to implement improvements?
We know there are differences as cancer incidence, mortality and morbidity are related to access and equity. We have the data to identify where the differences are in the community. Now we need to interpret the data and engage residents and stakeholders to determine concrete ways in which inequalities can be reduced, if not eliminated, to improve health outcomes. .
One of the things people get wrong when talking about health equity is that it’s not always about race. This includes diversity such as geographic location, gender and sexual minorities. There is a whole group that we are not dealing with and that is the LGBTQIA+ community. Differences from the overall goal of ensuring universal access to the best cancer care should be identified.
I would like to expand our Community Advisory Board so that it is fully representative of the different areas we serve in helping people and us open up avenues of communication. We would like to host a hall where we can report our discoveries through our work to the community and share feedback openly.
People think differently. We all come from different backgrounds and work on all kinds of problems from different places. That’s why it’s important to have all the different perspectives in the room.
What do you want people to know about you?
I personally treat cancer. I lost his father to colon cancer when I was a senior in high school. He was only 51 years old. No one should die from colorectal cancer today. I want to prevent other young women and men from losing their parents at an early age. I know that for some people, access to health care can be a lack of awareness, a lack of culturally appropriate care, or a lack of knowledge about their individual health symptoms. I see this as part of my purpose in life. We have the opportunity to do more and we shouldn’t rest because it’s a difficult problem.