New Collaboration Targets Key Boston Neighborhoods for Health Equity Initiatives

Originally posted on HealthCity.

To sustain health equity, focus on specific zip codes

BMC pediatrician Megan Sandel, MD, MPH, believes to move toward true, sustainable advancements in health equity, health systems must directly address the disinvestment in communities of color and work to change systems that make economic opportunities, including living-wage jobs, inaccessible for so many.

“Place is where we concentrate inequity in this country. It is places and neighborhoods where systems don’t work and where policies perpetuate inequities,” Sandel says.

As a result, Sandel says that BMC as a health system is looking to extend work beyond the person-level to adopt a set of ZIP codes and make these ZIP codes how it focuses its work.

“Place-based investing, place-based hiring, and place-based small business procurement is part of our healthcare anchor mission,” Sandel explains. “We want Nubian Square, Roxbury, 02119, to be the healthiest neighborhood in Boston. There is no reason it can’t be. We just have to undo decades of racism to get there.”