We wish to thank Pfizer Inc. and the Pfizer Foundation
for their support of the Network of Ethnic Physicians
[NEPO] Health Disparities Framework Project. Support from
Pfizer, Inc. enabled us to bring together the project's
Expert Panel leadership team whose work is reflected in
this report. Through their support, a very diverse and
thoughtful group came together on June 19th to share their
thoughts on how to strengthen the work of the Network
of Ethnic Physicians in addressing health disparities.
We also want to extend our thanks to the Pfizer Foundation
whose generosity will enable the CMA Foundation to provide
grant funds for Network members to address health disparities
in their communities.
To our Expert Panel and our Cochairs, Kwabena Adubofour,
MD, and Phyllis Preciado, MD, we say thank you for the
hours, energy and leadership they are bringing to create
the framework ethnic physician organizations will use
to address health disparities.
We also thank Senator Deborah Ortiz for sharing her thoughts
on the issue of health disparities and diabetes. She has
truly challenged ethnic physicians to bring their voice
to the policy debates taking shape on these issues in
the State Capitol and in local communities.
And, finally, to all who gave up their Saturday and worked
throughout the day to provide shape and dimension to the
health disparities framework and the diabetes action plan,
Thank You. June 19th was a historic event, bringing ethnic
physicians, community advocates and government leaders
together for the first time to address health disparities.
June 19th marked the beginning of this vital, collaborative
Ethnic physicians and their organizations play important
roles in promoting the health of diverse communities.
Minority physicians are more likely to practice medicine
in communities with a higher percentage of ethnically
diverse members. While most minority patients in California
still receive care from a health provider of a different
ethnic background, minority physicians in California often
provide a bridge to greater language and cultural understanding
between their colleagues and their communities. Ethnic
physicians have a high level of credibility within their
communities. In addition, they are credible spokespersons
to the media, policy makers, and opinion leaders. They
can take complex issues such as health disparities and
make them come alive with illustrations from their own
practices and life experiences.
The Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations [NEPO]
began in 2002 to address a number of critical health issues,
including health disparities. Leaders from ethnic physician
organizations, community-based organizations, advocacy
groups and governmental agencies are now working on a
framework to address racial and ethnic health disparities
that provides a vehicle for ethnic physician leaders to
work in partnership with others to address these issues
- one disease at a time. The Network will develop an overarching
framework that will be applied to individual health conditions,
beginning with type 2 diabetes, in an effort to bring
about positive change in the health status ethnic minority
populations. The framework addresses health disparities
both within the healthcare delivery system and within
the community. This framework will provide a document
that others can look to for opportunities to partner with
ethnic physician organizations to address racial and ethnic
health disparities in the areas of prevention, disease
management and policy.