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Abt Conversations: Health, Climate and Equity
All people are entitled to good health and safe environments. Increasingly federal, state and local partners are seeking ways to improve health access and outcomes for all people, no matter where they live, who they are, or how much they earn. In this podcast miniseries, Abt staff sit down with health leaders from Massachusetts, Minnesota and the Pueblo de San Ildefonso to discuss their ideas on health equity, including challenges, innovative approaches, and next steps for their respective programs and communities.
A leader in health policy innovation, Massachusetts is home to many of the nation’s top hospitals and care providers. But access to care is not enough. With 140 languages spoken in Boston alone, the needs of its diverse citizens are many. Abt’s Kaitlin Sheedy talked with Gary Sing,Director of Delivery System Investment and Social Services Integration, MassHealth, about the importance of using data to advance health equity—without getting sandbagged by the search for “perfect.”
Minnesota is often cited as one of the healthiest states in the nation and has made great strides integrating data across health utilization, health status, behavioral health, and disability systems to identify needs and gaps. But not all people have the same access to services that promote optimum health. Abt’s Sara Galantowicz talked with Erin Flicker, MSW, LICSW, in the Continuing Care for Older Adults & Community Supports Administrations at the Minnesota Department of Human Services about these data systems and other strategies the state is using to monitor and reduce health disparities.
For tribal nations, climate justice and health are intertwined. Poor environmental conditions play an important role in continuing health, economic and well-being disparities. Abt’s Kaylene Ritter talked with Raymond Martinez, Director, Department of Environmental & Cultural Preservation and Lieutenant Governor, Pueblo de San Ildefonso, about how stressors like climate change, COVID-19 and proximity to the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory, have rippling impacts on the Pueblo, its people and tribal lifeways.