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Volume XXVl, No. 5 August 2012 The Independent Medical Business Newspaper Reducing health inequities What physicians can do By Melanie Ferris, MPH, and Paul W. Mattessich, PhD E MMXll care delivery to payment models, organizational structure, government regulation, and health improvement programs. Many of the responses from health care leaders reflected both the promise and challenges of those changes. The responses also underscore the importance of another significant health care trend: teamwork and collaboration in achieving goals, whether in quality of care, efficiency in delivering care, or improving accessibility to care. A number of leaders lauded the efforts of their staff and colleagues, as well as the crucial role of patients in the health care equation. We wish this group of health care professionals the best in leading the state through these exciting and challenging times. Recognizing excellence Detriot Lakes, MN Permit No. 2655 PAID 100 LEADERS to page 14 PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE M innesota Physician Publishing is pleased to present this special feature honoring Minnesota’s health care leaders. Once every four years, we invite our readers to submit the names of colleagues whose outstanding work in health care might be acknowledged in this feature. We thank all those who participated in the nomination process and in submitting responses. Minnesota has long had a national reputation for excellence in health care. In an industry with so much talent and dedication, it is difficult to limit the number of leaders to only 100. The leaders selected for this feature represent a cross section of the breadth and depth of Minnesota’s health-care delivery system, from clinical care to health care policy, research, and management. Though the health care industry is always evolving, the past four years have seen sweeping changes at all levels, from ven when physicians offer the best care possible, patients have unequal opportunities to experience good health outcomes. Factors largely outside of a physician’s control, at least in the short term, put large numbers of patients at a disadvantage, not because of their genes or their health behaviors, but because of where they live, the money they have, and the intended and unintended discrimination they experience. The World Health Organization labels such disadvantages “health inequities,” which result from unfair, unjust, and modifiable social conditions. A growing body of literature demonstrates that factors shaping the conditions were we live, work, and play—called social determinants— strongly influence our overall health and largely contribute to health inequities. Minnesota: A healthy state for many, but not all Minnesota shines nationally with an image of good health among its residents. The Kaiser Family Foundation INEQUITIES to page 12

Minnesota Physician August 2012

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