Michigan children's hospitals team up to address child healthcare inequities

The three largest children's hospitals in Michigan are joining forces in a significant effort to address inequities in how pediatric patients are treated, according to a July 13 Detroit Free Press report.

Detroit-based Children's Hospital of Michigan, the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids-based Corewell Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital are teaming up in the so-called Michigan Child Health Equity Collaborative, a first-of-its-kind partnership in the field, according to the report.

"The people that are going to win are going to be the children in the community," Archie Drake, CEO of Children's Hospital of Michigan, told the Free Press.

The concept behind the collaborative is to not only identify inequities but also to act on such data to improve outcomes for all children.

"We will not simply find and name problems," Gary Freed, MD, a pediatrician at the C.S. Mott hospital who came up with the project told the Free Press. "We are going to work to do something about it."

Such healthcare inequities often exist because of unconscious biases, Dr. Freed said.

The program is to be funded by the University of Michigan with matching Medicaid grant money.

"There are many studies for adults, but limited research has been conducted in the pediatric population, with even fewer solutions identified to address equity issues for children," Lynn Sutfin, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said in the report. "This project has the potential to change that, which would profoundly and positively impact the state's Medicaid program." 

More details on the collaborative can be found here.

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