Health Disparities in the US- Root Causes and Historical Analysis training

Health Disparities in the US- Root Causes and Historical Analysis training

The “Health Disparities in the US- Root Causes and Historical Analysis” training fills a niche that has yet to be filled. This Health Equity workshop goes beyond “Diversity” training to not only identify the groups and processes used for social exclusion, but also adds a systemic analysis of power and how it operates in society. Unlike the more general trainings that address racial disparities, this workshop is specifically focused on the relationship between racial inequities and the issues surrounding health and health care access in the US. This workshop serves as a precursor to any type of “Cultural Competency” training, by providing the historical framework, and underlying causes that have led to the need for “Cultural Competency” to be developed within the US context.

Training Curriculum: “Health Disparities in the US- Root Causes and Historical Analysis”. This two-day training critically examines the US history of healthcare access for different racial/ethnic communities using a Popular Education methodology and a documented historical analysis and framework. Participants will develop a shared language and analysis of the history of healthcare in the US. This history will include the “untold” stories of many communities, beginning with colonization and slavery. The process will define institutional racism and identify how it impacts the state of healthcare in the US, past and present. The workshop will examine the issues of differential access, individual “choices” and public policies related to physical health and autonomy. The training uses an extensive case study on women’s reproductive health to develop a historical timeline of policies and practices leading directly to current racial health inequities. The training concludes with facilitators and participants identifying how to inform the work of their organization in addressing health disparities and the pressing issues being faced by communities facing these disparities.

The training format includes large group presentation, small group work with individual worksheets and assignments, as well as a slide show of impactful historical dates and images. The workshop also includes a presentation of a twenty-foot historical timeline spanning 500 years of US health history. Throughout the two days there are interactive exercises where participants critically engage with the materials presented. All participants will also receive an updated bibliography on the topics covered.

Training Learner Objectives:

  • Identify the underlying social, economic and political conditions that disproportionately privilege some groups while disadvantaging others.
  • Identify how institutional racism impacts Austin/Travis County residents, especially in relation to health outcomes.
  • Create an open environment where participants can discuss concerns about and ideas for addressing systemic inequities and the impact on the local community.
  • Create an open environment where participants can reflect on how Health Equity is currently integrated into the priorities and work of the organization.
  • Increase awareness of how historical and current cultural conditions, policies, and practices link to social inequities which link to health inequities.
  • Identify possible next steps to incorporate these concepts into the work of the organization.