Addressing Health Disparities in Our Community
Black Americans in the Pittsburgh area and across our country experience disparities when it comes to their health, including chronic conditions, access to care, preventive screenings, and mental health.
Health disparities are preventable and UPMC is committed to driving health education and programming, partnering with our community, and training health care providers to ensure that all individuals and families have the opportunity to live healthier lifestyles.
The first step to preventing health disparities starts with identifying and understanding them. Health disparities can result among Black patients from multiple factors including but not limited to:
- Individual and behavioral factors
- Inadequate access to health care
- Educational inequalities
- Environmental threats
On the Forefront of Health Disparities
Carlos Cream, MD, PhD
Dr. Cream is an internist and UPMC Central Pa.'s director of diversity for graduate medical education, and committed to diversifying the medical field.Read Dr. Cream's Interview
Representative Patty Kim, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Rep. Kim advocates to improve health care equality and accessibility in her district and throughout the Commonwealth.Read Rep. Kim's Interview
Madeleine Courtney-Brooks, MD, MPH
Dr. Courtney-Brooks is the director of the Magee-Womens Gynecologic Cancer Program of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. She helps women with gynecologic cancers and is dedicated in addressing racial and rural health disparities in Pennsylvania.Read Dr. Courtney-Brooks Interview
A.J. Conrad Smith, MD
Dr. Smith is the director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at the UPMC Heart & Vascular Institute and dedicated in promoting equity and diversity in health care.Read Dr. Smith's Interview
More interviews from health disparities experts:
Jonathan K. Han, MD, and Winfred T. Frazier, MD, MPH
Dr. Frazier and Dr. Han both family medicine physicians and leaders at UPMC St. Margaret New Kensington Family Health Center. They are devoted to addressing health disparities among underserved communities.
Representative Morgan Cephas, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Rep. Cephas is dedicated on improving maternal mortality rates and access to health care in her district and throughout the Commonwealth.
Naudia N. Jonassaint, MD, MHS
Dr. Jonassaint is the vice chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the UPMC's Department of Medicine and is devoted to addressing health disparities in liver transplant outcomes.
Diego Chaves Gnecco, MD, MPH
Dr. Chaves-Gnecco is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is the founder of Salud Para Niños (Health for the Children), which provides primary care for underserved community members.
Sharee Livingston, DO
Dr. Livingston is the chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UPMC Lititz, and is dedicated to addressing maternal mortality and providing doula care for pregnant women of color.
Demond E. Bledsoe, PhD, LPC
Dr. Bledsoe is a senior program director at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, serving inpatient behavioral health units and select outpatient facilities across the state, and helping minority populations seek care.
Tracey Conti, MD
Dr. Conti is the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC dedicated to addressing health care disparities, including care delivery in underserved communities, medical education, and women’s health issues.
Representative Austin A. Davis, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Rep. Davis is a strong advocate for addressing and fighting health disparities in his district and throughout the region.
Utibe Essien, MD, MPH
Dr. Essein is a physician researcher. His work focuses on racial/ethnic health disparities in cardiovascular disease care and social determinants of health.
Steven Evans, MD, FACS
Dr. Evans is a general surgeon and surgical oncologist with UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. He is an advocate for the elimination of cancer disparities among Black women.
Hyagriv Simhan, MD, MSCR
Dr. Simhan, a physician at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, is a leader in promoting increased safety and health care quality for pregnant women.
Learn More From UPMC HealthBeat
- Health Disparities: preventable and disproportionate health conditions and inequalities that exist among all ages in a certain population.
- Health Literacy: the degree to which an individual can obtain, process, and understand basic health information, so that they can make the best health care decisions.
- Social Determinants of Health: factors like biology and genetics, individual behavior, social environment, physical environment, and health services, that contribute to an individual’s overall health outcome.
- Media Literacy: the ability to access, analyze, and evaluate media in a variety of forms. Media literacy is important when it comes to health care because it impacts how individuals make health care decisions based from the information that is presented around them.
- Unconscious Bias: social stereotypes people unintentionally form about groups of people that can affect how they perceive and interact with them.
Cancer Disparities in Our Community
About one in three Black Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and studies show that Black men and women have the highest rate of death from cancer than any racial or ethnic group in the United States.Learn more about these disparities and what UPMC is doing to address them.