Breakthroughs in Healthcare Equity Symposium 2018

Breakthroughs in Healthcare Equity Symposium 2018

March 2018  |  Action Plan  

To view the full report, please click on the "download" button to receive a full PDF copy. 

Key Insight

“Diversity and inclusion efforts need to be focused on maximizing the value of diverse individuals, and not limited entirely to workforce representation.”



This Action Plan is based on CHI's second annual Breakthroughs in Healthcare Equity Symposium, a leading annual, collaborative symposium for patients, patient groups, clinicians, researchers, technologists, healthcare and life science executives, and diversity and inclusion advocates to discuss equity in healthcare.

The second annual symposium brought these groups together in a collaborative forum to create networks, discuss best practices, and exchange new ideas related to making healthcare more equitable, with a specific focus on understanding how to serve underserved patient groups, including racial and ethnic minorities, women, and the LGBT community. The symposium also focused on helping provider, pharma, and other organizations who serve patients with the latest ideas and insights on how these organizations can better understand the unique and diverse needs of the patients they serve. Attendees exchanged the newest insights and ideas, discussed practical solutions, and met industry and marketplace colleagues.

The symposium, which took place in San Francisco on 2/8/18, featured keynote speakers, educational panel discussions, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. This Action Plan is meant to help operationalize the insights discussed at the symposium, with a specific focus on providing actionable and implementable steps that healthcare organizations and individuals can take to build a more equitable healthcare system that reduces healthcare disparities for the most vulnerable, at-risk, and underserved patient populations.


Chapter 1

The symposium began with a Distinguished Keynote Address by Ricki Fairley, the Founder, President and Thought Leader of DOVE Marketing, a marketing agency with a mission to deliver iconic thinking, strategic problem solving and creative genius to clients seeking profitable business results. Fairley is a seasoned marketer with over 30 years of marketing experience including 20 years in brand management at Johnson & Johnson, Nabisco, Reckitt & Colman and The Coca-Cola Company, and over ten years in agency leadership encompassing strategic planning and consulting for numerous Fortune 500 companies. She is passionate about helping clients identify marketplace opportunities, establish insight-based objectives and strategies, and build results-driven campaigns with resonating creativity. Ricki holds the Leadership Award from the Creative Thinking Association of America, and was named a Top 100 Marketer by Black Enterprise Magazine in February 2011. In November 2013, Ricki received the Association of National Advertisers Multicultural Excellence Award for the African American advertising for the Obama for America campaign. In May 2014, DOVE Marketing received the US Trade & Commerce Institute Excellence in Marketing Award.

Ricki holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is the President Emeritus of the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association, and serves on the board of Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company. Ricki is Chair of the Board of Trustees and chairs the Marketing Committee for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. As a Stage 3A Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor/Thriver, she speaks regularly to advocate for awareness of the disease.

Ms. Ricki Fairley began her keynote address by describing her story battling Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer that disproportionately impacts women of color. She described how her story forms her understanding of our collective purpose to expand healthcare access for underserved populations. Her experiences have led her to work with a variety of organizations working to raise awareness for numerous medical conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, and mental illness, that disproportionately affect vulnerable, at-risk and minority communities.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer has been found to be the most aggressive form of breast cancer, and there is no known drug for women with this kind of breast cancer. Many women are not aware of clinical trials and drug screenings that are available for this type cancer. Additionally, there is often distrust of the medical community that persists in minority populations, particularly the African American population. These ideas and valid source of mistrust stem from experiences such as the Tuskegee syphilis experiment nearly a century ago, and this distrust can be passed down through generations in African American communities.

Much more work needs to be done to build trust in vulnerable, at-risk patient communities. The healthcare establishment should strategically develop plans and tactics on how to engage, communicate with, and build trust with these patient populations. The use of testimonials and personal stories in advertising and social media can be utilized in these outreach efforts. It is also crucial to connect providers with one another to exchange best practices and share new ideas. Providers can then develop strategies to encourage patients to engage with their healthcare community. Preventative care also needs to be a priority, particularly for minorities and women. Additional educational resources need to be provided, particularly on the local level, for individuals that lack the awareness and knowledge of their healthcare, as well as certain diseases and conditions. 

Calls to Action:


  1. Emphasize the importance of preventative medical care, especially to minority populations that are higher risk to diseases like cancer

  2. Advertise directly to minority populations, particularly with testimonials and personal stories, about the benefits of being an engaged and knowledgeable partner in their own care and wellness

  3. Encourage providers to exchange information and best practices to better standardize care for all populations

  4. Provide patients with the appropriate educational resources so they can learn more about diseases and treatments and encourage patients to seek out participation in clinical trials and other cutting-edge research

Fig. 1. Images and infographics can be used as visual elements to support the points you make in the paper. Insert them here and caption with the source. 
Fig. 2. Images and infographics can be used as visual elements to support the points you make in the paper. Insert them here and caption with the source. 

To view the full report, please click on the "download" button to receive a full PDF copy. 


Joseph Gaspero

CEO & Co-Founder at CHI


Ivory Chang

Project Manager at CHI


Mounika Kata

Health Equity Fellow at CHI



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