By Steve Blanchard - November 02, 2020
Diversity and inclusion are popular words these days, especially considering the volatile nature of race relations in 2020. But incorporating those ideals into a comprehensive plan that directly impacts health care takes planning.
"We hope to expand our existing programs and develop new ways to reach patients and to improve delivery of culturally sensitive care."- Dr. Julian Sanchez, Director of Care Equity
“The goal of this position is to advance Moffitt Diversity’s footprint within the hospital,” said Sanchez, a colorectal surgeon in Moffitt’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program. “We hope to expand our existing programs and develop new ways to reach patients and to improve delivery of culturally sensitive care.”
Disparities in health care are nothing new. But while the country and the world continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, new data continuously highlights the need to build inclusive programs for underrepresented groups. For example, U.S. death rates from all cancers combined are at least 25% higher among Blacks than whites.
“Moffitt is very focused on inclusion,” said Cathy Grant, senior director of Moffitt’s Diversity Department. “It’s a part of our company values and it sets us apart from other cancer centers. Incorporating this role helps us continue striving for inclusiveness and directly addressing the longstanding health disparities that exist, including unequal access to care.”
Sanchez will continue working as a clinician and seeing patients. However, he’s hopeful that giving part of his time to diversity initiatives will improve patient care at Moffitt.
“All patients should feel comfortable and welcome at Moffitt, regardless of their background or social situation,” said Sanchez. “This new position allows me to serve as a liaison between Moffitt Diversity and our patients and their providers.”
Sanchez’s new role will include oversight on Moffitt’s adherence to nationally recognized standards and cultural competency framework and preferred practices. He will also develop a strategy for cultural competency education and clinical quality measures.
“The ultimate goal is to improve patient care and decrease health disparities,” said Sanchez. “Moffitt Diversity will continue to be a leader in the field.”