6 ways Hennepin's chief health equity officer is improving healthcare equity in her 1st month

In Nneka Sederstrom's first month as chief health equity officer at Hennepin Healthcare, her team has worked to vaccinate thousands of members of underserved communities and are serious about closing holes in access to healthcare, she told Becker's. Here are six ways a hospital determined to achieve equity can follow Dr. Sederstrom's lead and improve healthcare access.

Six ways Dr. Sederstrom is improving equity in Hennepin Healthcare's Minneapolis community:

1. In her role, she needed more than a title. She said she made it clear when accepting the position she needed authority and decision-making power to create change.

2. When first starting the position, Dr. Sederstrom was flooded with departments bringing attention to equity issues they wanted addressed. Her first step is figuring out where all the holes in healthcare equity are located in a healthcare system.

3. Her team created pop-up clinics in mosques, churches and other community organizations to offer vaccines to the high-risk communities they serve.

4. So far, Dr. Sederstrom said they have administered 200 first doses of vaccines through these pop-up clinics and will administer around 500 doses of vaccines per week in the clinics.

5. Aside from pop-up clinics, her team is teaming up with public organizations to vaccinate homeless populations, prison inmates, teachers and more. She said they have vaccinated tens of thousands of community members through these efforts.

6. Community outreach can be financially beneficial for patients and the hospital, Dr. Sederstrom said. Preventive care keeps patients from needing to go to an emergency facility and paying a higher healthcare bill. It also makes healthcare access financially feasible for hospitals, as preventive care can lower the amount they spend on higher-cost care. 

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