Coming together for health care equality
Coming together for health care equality

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
  • Poverty

On the Forefront of Health Disparities

Dawndra Jones

Dawndra Jones, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

Dawndra Jones is vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, population health, and dedicated in diversifying the nursing workforce.

Read Dawndra Jones' Interview
Dr. Owusu-Ansah

Slyvia Owusu-Ansah, MD

Dr. Owusu-Ansah is the medical director of EMS and associate vice chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she is dedicated to bridging health care gaps in underserved and minority communities.

Read Dr. Owusu-Ansah's Interview
Representative Arvind Venkat, MD

Representative Arvind Venkat, MD, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Rep. Venkat is both an emergency physician and state representative who advocates to improve health care equality and accessibility throughout Pennsylvania.

Read Rep. Venkat, MD's Interview
Lawrence Uradu, MD

Lawrence Uradu, MD

Dr. Uradu specializes in diagnostic radiology. He is the director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Imaging Servies at UPMC, and is dedicated in diversifying the field of medicine.

Read Dr. Uradu's Interview

More interviews from health disparities experts:

Learn More From UPMC HealthBeat


  • Health Disparities: preventable and disproportionate health conditions and inequalities that exist among all ages in a certain population.
  • Health Equity: where everyone has a fair and equal opportunity to get the health care that they need.
  • 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.