Northwell Health community health leader Ram Raju, MD, discusses health care disparities, the social determinants of care and how to empower vulnerable populations in a newly released podcast and opinion editorial. "A Road Map to Healthier Populations"is the latest installment in Northwell Health’s podcast series Health Story. A more wide-ranging, long-form interview delves into health care equity, access to care and the challenges that compromise the health and well-being of vulnerable populations and impact the community as a whole.
“The healthcare we are providing is great, but not smart,” said Dr. Raju, Northwell’s senior vice president and community health officer. “Healthcare cannot be delivered in isolation anymore. It has to be delivered in conjunction with other social determinants of care: housing, transportation, recreation, exercise, healthy food, economics and education. All these things need to come together for communities to access appropriate healthcare and most importantly realize the benefits of that healthcare.”
Dr. Raju said health care leaders have economic leverage as major employers in their communities. “We create jobs. We support the local economy. We have political clout in the community,” he said. “We need to use our clout to create an environment where people can live healthy.”
In both the podcast and print interview, Dr. Raju says health care should be a ‘right’ and that health care and social services organizations need to work together and not be mutually exclusive in order to keep the population healthy.
Listen to the podcast: To hear the episode, click here.
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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 62,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and about 3,900 physicians, including more than 2,800 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.