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Holding Your Own Health Equity M&M
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Foster conversations among your peers within your practice or organization.

Holding Your Own Health Equity M&M

Health equity M&M discussions provide a framework for recognizing and examining our biases and identifying the ways systemic racism exists within our organizations. Attendees can learn to think critically and identify when to advocate for patients from historically marginalized communities to help ensure they receive the highest quality clinical care. Health equity M&Ms foster a space conducive to building a community of professionals focused on achieving health equity, allowing for discussions of charged but necessary topics.

Foundationally, the health equity M&M discussions should serve as one of many mechanisms to address forms of systemic marginalization of patients in your organization. Before launching a health equity M&M series, ask yourself:

  • Is your organization collecting data on health equity issues? Are you able to measure and identify disparities in care?
  • Are there individuals or teams who are compensated to consider equity, diversity, and inclusion issues in your organization? Has there been training on these issues, while consistently examining localized EDI issues?
  • Is your organization ready and equipped to bring in an outside consultant or advisor to conduct equity M&Ms?

How to Proceed Once Your Organization is Ready

Once you’ve established that your organization is ready and equipped, we recommend considering the following elements:

First, identify a highly skilled facilitator who is knowledgeable about health equity and racism in medicine. This person may already be on your staff or may be an external consultant.

It is critical to have a health equity content expert with strong facilitator skills because harm can be caused and perpetuated when charged conversations are handled poorly. In addition, the attendees will benefit from being pressed to think differently and consider new information and perspectives.

Look for a facilitator with experience in discussing issues such as social and health inequities, structural racism, and other forms of oppression, as well as experience in facilitating social and health equity and justice dialogues.

Next, establish a process for collecting topic ideas and cases. In advance of the session, the facilitator should become familiar with the nuances of the case and identify the key health equity issues, questions, and concerns to discuss at the session.

Before your first session

Before your first session, establish group goals and ground rules to ensure a positive group experience. It is important to foster a space that’s conducive to building a community of professionals focused on achieving health equity. If you are using your organization’s coordinated quality improvement program, or CQIP, to protect confidentiality, communicate expectations and ensure they are met consistently.

As you prepare, establish the questions you’ll use consistently across all cases to frame the discussion. For example:

  • How has inequity played out in this case?
  • What role did we have in perpetuating inequity?
  • How do we ensure that individuals and systems can prevent this from happening in the future?
  • Have we created the culture to allow this case to be addressed in real time?

Health equity M&Ms provide opportunities for rich conversations amongst peers about how to advance health equity in your practice and organization.

Join or renew your membership today!