Whittier Bridges the Gap in Racial Inequality and Health Disparities in Healthcare
While numerous strides have been made to address racial inequities in Boston, many disparities are still persistent. Discrimination is still rooted into the fabric of the city, with Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities in the Greater Boston area experiencing disproportionate levels of social, economic, and health inequality.
For decades, Boston has strived to make amends for historical wrongdoings against people of color by encouraging communities to not only coexist but to integrate into wider society. On this front, Boston has been largely successful with social attitudes becoming more liberal and inclusive. However, this shift has not yet resulted in the erasure of systematic oppression that members of BIPOC communities still face.
This inequality is most pronounced in the health disparities between races. Boston is a hub of modern medicine, world-class health care, and life science research centers. Therefore, it is shocking that there is a 23-year life expectancy disparity between the city’s richest and poorest residents. A consensus tract found that Roxbury has a mean life expectancy of 69 years, whereas Back Bay has an average life expectancy of 92 years, despite only being 3 miles apart.
The difference in access to quality health care, not only impacts individuals and families plagued by premature death and preventable illness, but also the state economy. The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts found that health inequities faced by people of color in Massachusetts cost the state an estimated $5.9 billion each year.
This staggering number results in higher health insurance premiums, higher taxes to fund government run insurance initiatives such as Mass Health and a loss of productivity for employers and employees across industries.
Whittier pioneers targeted approaches to improving community health and wellness, with the goal of addressing disparities in health care access. Our mission is to serve as a center of excellence that provides high quality, and accessible health care and social services that achieve health equity, social justice, and the economic well-being of our diverse populations.
Whittier provides comprehensive care to meet the needs of the whole person. The services include:
- The Boston Health Equity Program
- Prescription For Health
- Men’s Health Department
- Infectious Disease and Special Populations Department
- Whittier’s Day Engagement Center
- Mobile Health Services
- Prison Release / Reentry Program
- Early Support in Recovery Group
- Telehealth Program and Remote Monitoring Services
Whittier serves as a beacon of hope in the communities we serve! We are deeply committed to our mission to promote wellness and eliminate health disparities and look forward to serving you with the highest quality of care.