What is it about?

Structural racism affects everyone, leads to misconceptions about how and why health inequities occur, and hinders the search for effective solutions. Using a long-standing national program to advance health equity as a case study, we use the principles of liberation psychology to examine why efforts to eliminate health and healthcare inequities often fail, what helps them to succeed, and identify ideas for how to do better in the future.

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Why is it important?

Racial and ethnic health and health care inequities persist despite academic institutions, health care organizations, and government entities investing significant resources to reduce and eliminate them. While there have been some advances, we need bold approaches to speed-up progress. This paper offers recommendations to shift our perspectives and actions so that we can eventually stop the needless suffering and excess deaths caused by inequities in health and health care.


Too many people that I have known and loved died prematurely or suffered because of inequities in our health care systems. The inequities exist not only in how we deliver care, but in how we pay for it. My hope is that the recommendations in this paper can help accelerate the identification of effective solutions that will bring an end to this preventable catastrophe.

Co-Director / Advancing Health Equity: Leading Care, Payment, and Systems Transformation. A national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation based at the University of Chicago Scott C Cook
The University of Chicago Medicine

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Opportunities for psychologists to advance health equity: Using liberation psychology to identify key lessons from 17 years of praxis., American Psychologist, February 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/amp0001126.
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