OHPF Day 3

Expanding on one of the “e’s” from Day 2, this morning’s work was focused on equity. This is a term I use and explore frequently – in parenting, with patients and in lectures, I often share:

Fair isn’t everyone getting the same thing

Fair is everyone getting what they need in order to be successful

When considering the unique needs of an individual, the challenges facing a particular cohort of the population, the advantages extended naturally or artificially to certain groups, there is an art and likely scientific data involved in the appropriate application and allocation of resources. There can be a natural instinct to seek and deliver equality– dividing the pie evenly among everyone – but what if you’ve had enough pie or don’t have a plate or are allergic to the ingredients?

A key component of equity is listening carefully for specific needs, performing an assessment that truly distills down to the core issue and acknowledges that which would be most helpful in moving the needle forward for an individual or group. Success in this task requires rising above assumptions, recognizing and adjusting for implicit (or overt) biases. An assessment must then be made regarding potential resources – what is available, who are the possible providers, what are the barriers to access?

These inventories, obtained with prudence, can be compared for alignment – is there a match between that which is needed and that which exists? Is there a clear path for access? Where are the gaps? Can they be easily filled? How and by whom?