Sen. Carper helps introduce bill to improve healthcare in communities of color
DELAWARE – Delaware Senator Tom Carper is helping to introduce a new bill that would provide more healthcare resources to communities of color. The Improving Social Determinants of Health Act would make it so that the CDC ensures that socioeconomic status is considered when providing resources. “I hope that this bill leads to more information and gives us the science and the numbers we truly need to look at – and maybe then we can start taking the appropriate steps forward to make it better. But first we have to recognize what the problems are,” said owner of Pearl Clinic Dr. Sherin Howett.
The bill would also allow up to $50 million in grants for programs per year to improve healthcare resources in communities of color. “Preventative care should be our goal. We should be looking ahead and trying to prevent what we can possibly see coming. But what I feel like is happening is that we’re turning into more of a reactive care where you wait until the heart attack – you wait until the stroke or you wait until you’re passing out from blood sugar levels,” said Dr. Howett.
Dr. Howett says improving healthcare on a national scale starts with ensuring equal access to resources for all. “We don’t have these real social programs and social resources – and I don’t think we have money and people allocated to doing those things. As a society, of course we are going to suffer because if you can’t help your community, you can’t keep lifting up society,” said Dr. Howett.
The bill would also award grants to non-profits and higher education institutions for research on how socioeconomic status impacts healthcare. It would also award similar grants to state and local health agencies for addressing the same issue.